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University  of  Illinois  Library 

_■  1  I 

L161— O-1096 





1.  Rome.     By  Arthur  Gilman,  M.A. 

2.  The  Je-srs.     By  Prof.  J.  K.  HosMER. 

3.  Germany,       By    Rev.    S.    BaRING- 


4.  Carthage.      By    Prof.    Alfred    J. 


5.  Alexander's     Empire.       By    Prof. 

J.  P    Mahafi  V. 

6.  The  Moors  in  Spain. 



By  Stanley 

By  Prof.  George 

Prof.     Arminius 

By  Arthur  Gil- 

the      Hon.      EMILY 

7.  Ancient  Egypt. 


8.  Hungary.       By 


9.  The   Saracens. 

MAN,    M..\. 

10.  Ireland.       By 


11.  Chaldea.  By  Zfn'aIde  A.  Ragozin. 
12  The  Goths.  Bv  Henry  Bradley. 
13.  Aesyria.  By  Zenaide  A.  Ragozin. 
ij.  Turkey.  Bv  Stanley  Lane-Poole. 

15.  Holland.     By  Prof.  J.  E.  Thorold 


16.  Mediaeval    France.      By    Gustave 


17.  Persia.     Bv  S.  G.  W.  BENJAMIN. 

18.  Phoenicia.  Bv  Prof.  G.  Rawlinson. 
ig.  Media.     By  Zenaide  A.  Ragozin. 

20.  The    Hansa    Towns.     By     Helen 


21.  Early  Britain.      By   Prof.  ALFRED 

J.  Church. 

22.  The  Barbary  Corsairs.    By  Stanley 

Lane- Poole. 

23.  Russia.     By  W.  R.  Morfill,  M.A. 

24.  The  Jews  under  the  Romans.     By 

\V.  D.  Morrison. 
25    Scotland.     By  John  Mackintosh, 

Switzerland.      By  Mrs.  Lina  Hug 

and  R.  Stead. 
Mexico.     Bv  Susan  Hale 
Portugal.    Bv  H.  MoRSE  Stephens. 
The  Normans.      By   Sarah   Orme 


30.  The  Byzantine  Empire.     By  C.  W. 

C.  OMAN. 

31.  Sicily  :      Phoenician,      Greek     and 

Roman.      By    the     Prof.     E.    A. 

32.  The  Tuscan  Republics.     By  Bella 


3-,.  Poland.     By  W.  R.  Morfill  M.A. 

3}.  Parthia.     By  Prof.  George  Raw- 

35.  The  Australian  Commonwealth.  ,By 


3fi.  Spain.     By  H.  E.  Watts. 

37.  Janan.    By  David  Murray,  Ph.D. 




38.  South    Africa.      By    George    M. 


39.  Venice.     Bv  Alethea  Wiel. 

40.  The    t'lusades.     By  T.  A.  Archer 

and  C.  L.  KlNGSFORD. 

41.  Vedic  India.     By  Z.  A.  Ragozin. 

42.  The  West  Indies  and  the  Spanish 

Main.     By  James  .TtouvvAY. 

43.  Bohemia.        By     C.      Edmund 


44.  The  Balkans.    By  W.  Miller,  M.A. 

45.  Canada.     By    Sir   J.   G.   Bourinot, 


46.  British  India.     By  R.  W.  Frazer. 


47.  Modern    France.      By   Andre    Le 


48.  The  Franks.    By  Lewis  Sergeant. 

49.  Austria.    P>y  Sidney  Whitman. 

50.  Modern  England.     Beloie   the    Re- 

loi-m  Bill.  Bv  Justin  McCarthy. 

51.  China.     By  Prnf.  R.  K.   Douglas 

52.  Modern  England.  From  tlie  Keforni 

Bill   to   the   Present   Time.      By 
Justin  McCarthy. 

53.  Modern   Spain.      Bv   Mariin  A.  S. 


54.  Modern  Italy.     By  PlEiRO  Orsi. 

55.  Norway.     By  H.H.  BOVESEN. 

56.  Wales.     Bv  O.  M.  Edwards. 

■57.  Mediaeval  Rome.     Bv  W.   JIiller, 
••      '■  '■  M  A. 

58.  J'he  i*?pal  Monarchy.    By  William 


59.  Mediaeval   India  under  Mohamme- 

dan Rule.     By    Sianley  Lane- 

60.  Buddhist  India.      By    Prof.  T.  W. 


61.  Parliamentary    England.     By    Ed- 

ward JlA'KS    M..A. 

62.  Mediaeval     England.       By     Mary 


63.  The  Coming  of  Parliament.     By  L 

Cecii.  Jane. 

64.  The    Story  of    Greece.      From    the 

Earliest  Times   to   .a.d    14.      By 
E.  S.  Shlckburgh. 

65.  The   Story  of   tht;   Roman   Empire. 

(B.C.     29    to    A.D.    476.)       By  H. 
Stuart  Jcvks. 

66.  Denmark    and    Sweden,  with    Ice- 

land    and      Finland.      By     JON 
Stefan^-son",  Ph.D. 

67.  Belgium.     F'rom  the  Roman  Inva- 

sion  to   the   Present    Day.      By 
Emii.e  Ca:\imaerts. 

68.  Burma.     From  the  Earliest  Times 

to  the   Piesent  Day.     By  Sir  J. 
George  Scott,  K.'C.I.E. 

London  :   T.  FISHER  UNWIN,  LTD.,  i  Adelphi  Terrace 

Of  THE 

UKiVERsiry  Of  illihois 


[Russell  &■  Sons. 





PAPERS    (public    RECORD    OFFICe) 

SPAIN    FROM    1898    TO    1918 

by     J.      R.     CAREY 

T.    FISHER    UNWIN    LTD. 


First  published    .         .  .         .  190a 

Second  Impression        .         .         .  igo2 

Secbnd  Edilioii   [Third  Tin pressioit)  1906 

Third  Edition  {Fourth  Impression)  1923 

jCiDijyRiGnT  BY  T.  FISHER  yNVyiN,.i899 
(for  Great  Britain) 

COPYRJGJHJ.  BY    G.    p.    PUT.\AM.'S    SONS,    1899 

(for  the  United  States  of  America) 


An  attempt  has  been  made  to  furnish  an  addi- 
tional chapter  to  the  work  of  the  late  Major  Martin 
Hume.     The  hardihood  of  such  an  undertaking  is 
recognised,   and  the  result  will  doubtless  remind 
most  readers  of  a  stucco  Georgian  annexe  to  an 
Elizabethan  mansion.     The  period  to  be  covered 
— roughh'  from  1898  to  1918 — bristles  with  diffi- 
culties even  for  extended  treatment.     The  neces- 
sary  limits    of    space   have    meant    the    crowding 
out    of    much    and    the   inadequate    treatment    of 
more.     Most  of  the  points  touched  on  are  matters 
of  living  interest  and  impassioned  debate  in  Spain, 
and    the    present    writer    has    striven    merely    to 
indicate  the  various  opinions  without  presuming 
-^  to   lay   down  the  law.     Spain  is   slowly  working 
"I  out  her  destiny.     Every  day  her  contribution  to 
■^  world  civilisation,  long  obscured  by  the  mists  of 
_^'  prejudice,  is  becoming  more  and  more  recognised. 
"^  She  has  a  right  to  our  steadfast  sympathy  in  her 
^  present   difficulties,    and   our  cordial  co-operation 
in  her  future  progress. 

J.  R.  CAREY. 

London,  1923. 



In  the  seven  years  that  have  passed  since  this 
book  was  written  the  happiest  hopes  expressed  in 
its  closing  Hnes  have  so  far  been  fulfilled.  The  child 
Alfonso  XIII.  has  grown  to  be  a  man:  a  young 
man  full  of  generous  impulses,  and  deeply  imbued 
by  his  wise  mother  in  the  duties  and  responsibilities 
of  a  constitutional  monarch.  To  him  in  the  flower 
-of  his  promising  youth  Queen  Christina  has  handed 
unimpaired  the  sceptre  she  bore  so  bravely  in  the 
anxious  years  of  her  son's  long  minority.  Peace 
and  a  measure  of  prosperity  have  continued  to  smile 
upon  Spain,  and  in  the  international  councils  of 
Europe  the  ancient  monarchy  bears  an  increasingly 
important  part,  in  cordial  friendship  with  the  two 
great  democratic  forces,  England  and  France.  Those 
who  on  the  memorable  day  in  May,  1901,  saw  the 
King,  so  bright  and  eager,  so  manly  yet  so  patheti- 
cally young,  face  his  parliament  and  his  people  for 
the  first  time  as  their  ruler,  and  with  head  erect  and 


ringing  voice  swear  to  guard  inviolate  the  Constitu- 
tion by  which  he  reigned,  could  not  fail  to  be 
impressed  with  the  earnest  sincerity,  the  evident 
determination,  of  the  young  man  to  do  right  and 
fear  nothing.  Mistakes  Alfonso  XIII.  may  make, 
for  he  is  human  ;  but  it  may  be  certainly  predicted 
of  him,  that,  like  his  father  before  him,  he  will  do  no 
evil  knowingly  to  his  people  ;  and  that  he  willj  so 
far  as  in  him  lies,  keep  his  pact  with  the  subjects 
whose  love  and  sympathy  he  has  already  gained. 

The  old  politicians  of  the  revolution,  are :.drDpping 
off  one  by  one.  Silvela,  Sagasta,  Romexo-RobledQ, 
and  Pi  y  Margall  have  died  since  this  book,  was 
written,  and  the  newer,  statesmen  who  alternately 
govern  Spain  have  fouftd,  as  Canovas  in  his  own 
words  said  of  Alfonso  XII.,  when  he  was,  of  the 
same  age.  as  his  son  is  now,  that  in  Alfonso : XII L 
they  "have  a  master."  Like  his  father,  tooj  the 
young  King  has  determined  to  marry  for  love,,  and 
to  marry  an  English  Princess,  bred,  in  the  free  atmo- 
sphere .  of  British  life.  When  Alfonso-  XII.:  was 
urged  by  his  ministers  to  adopt  a  "measure  limiting 
religious  freedom  in.  Spain,  he  replied: — "  There  aire 
two  things  upon  which  I  will  never' give  way,  though 
it  cost  me  my  crown.  I  will  never  suppress  religious 
liberty,,  and  I  will  never  marry  against  my.  will-; 
and  the  Influences  whose  activity;  in  ah  opposite 
direction  drew  this  declaration  from  Alfonso  XII.^ 
have  found  in  his. son  .the  same  firm  resolve  to  resist 


the  retrogressive  forces  of  bigotry,  and  to  suffer  no 
political  coercion  in  the  matter  of  his  marriage.  The 
Catholic  faith  is,  and  must  remain,  the  religion  of 
Spain  ;  but  the.  day  of  religious  persecution  and 
tyrannical  priestcraft  is  past  for  ever,  and  Catholic 
Spain  is  as  free  as.  Protestant  England.  The  sym- 
p_athies  of  Britons  will  join  those  of  Spaniards 
towards  the  young  couple  who  under  such  hopeful 
auspices  are  to  begin  life  together.  The  national 
friendship  typified  by  the.personal  union  is  a  pledge 
of  .peace  for  Spain,  and  an  advantage  for  our  own 
country,  and  the  closer  communion  between  the 
peoples  ;  can  not  but  inspire  Spain  once  more,  as  a 
similar  friendship  did  well  nigh  a  century  ago,  anew 
with  attachment  to  orderly  liberty  guaranteed  by 
pure-  .parliamentary  government  such  as  happily 
prevails  in  our  .awn  land. 

For  Spain  most  of  the  auguries  are  hopeful.  The 
vexed  question  of  "regionalism"  in  Biscay  and 
Cataluiia  still  stirs  the  nation  to  its  heart,  but  the 
wisest  of  those  who  have  hitherto  clamoured  for 
complete  provincial  autonomy  are  beginning  ta 
recognise  that  the  best  way  of  attaining  the  end 
they  have  in  view  is  not  to  stand  apart  from  the 
national  life  and  cry  for  an  impracticable  separation, 
but  for  the  wealthy,  active  provinces  of  the  north 
to  infuse  into  all  departments  of  the  national  life 
some  of  their  own  energy  and  strength  :  for  Biscay 
and  Cataluha   to   conquer  and  influence  the   rest  of 


Spain  as  Scotland  has  influenced  the  rest  of  Britain, 
and  whilst  retaining  in  vigour  provincial  institutions, 
work  for,  and  with,  the  nation  as  a  whole.  Whatever 
solution  may  be  found  for  this  and  other  burning 
questions,  one  thing  may  be  foretold  with  confidence. 
The  days  of  despotism  have  fled  for  ever  from  Spain. 
The  law  and  not  the  crown  shall  rule  ;  and  the  bent 
of  the  young  king,  so  far  as  it  is  known,  encourages 
the  hope  that  the  popular  liberties  will  have  in  time 
a  strenuous  champion  and  a  faithful  guardian.  It 
must  be  the  wish  of  all  Englishmen,  as  it  certainly 
is  of  Spaniards,  that  he  with  an  English  bride  may 
reign  long  and  happily  over  a  free  people  ;  and  in 
the  process  of  time  be  succeeded  by  Anglo-Spanish 
descendants  handing  down  the  traditions  of  popular 
government  for  future  ages  in  a  country  which  in 
-.the  past  despotism  has  done  its  best  to  ruin. 


London,  April,  1906. 



This  is  the  story  of  a  nation  during  a  century  of 
struggle  upward  out  of  the  abyss  into  which  des- 
potism and  bigotry  had  sunk  it.  Before  the  period 
commenced  a  king,  more  enlightened  than  his  subjects, 
had  brought  from  abroad  wise  and  far-reaching  plans 
of  regeneration  which  he  imposed  upon  a  submissive, 
but  apathetic  and  ignorant,  people.  These  reforms 
were  social,  educational,  and  administrative,  and  in 
no  way  trenched  upon  the  despotic  political  power 
which  he  had  inherited  from  his  forefathers,  for  he 
knew  full  well  that  orderly  liberty  must  follow,  and 
not  precede,  enlightenment. 

It  was  Spain's  misfortune  that  the  sceptre  of 
Charles  III.  passed  into  the  hands  of  an  amiable 
fool  at  the  most  critical  period  of  modern  times, 
when  half  civilisation  v^as  crazy  with  the  new  con- 
viction that  the  face  of  society,  and  even  the  laws 
of  nature,  could  be  suddenly  altered  by  changes  in 
the  form  of  governments.  In  England  this  belief 
was  modified  by  the  stolid  good  sense  of  the  race, 
loyalty  to  the  throne,  and  the  elasticity  of  the  con- 


stitution  under  which  we  Hved  ;  in  France  it  was 
turned  to  his  own  advantage  by  one  of  the  greatest 
geniuses  and  most  unscrupulous  men  the  world  ever 
saw,  and  has  resulted  in  a  successful  democracy 
which  at  intervals  cries  for  a  despot  to  save  it  from 
itself:  whilst  in  Spain,  where  the  throne  had  forfeited 
right  to  respect,  where  there  was  no  constitution 
to  be  elastic,  and  no  genius  to  rescue  society  from 
anarchy  by  new  developments  of  despotism,  the 
people  themselves  have  painfully  worked  out,  so 
far,  their  own  salvation  at  the  cost  of  a  century 
of  conflict  and  misery  untold. 

Again    and    again    during     the    period,    political 
empirics  have  prescribed  rapi#  remedies  for  a  chronic 
disease,  always  with  the  result  that  a  crisis  has  been 
provoked  which  has  further  retarded  the  progress  of 
the  patient.     False  guides  have  betrayed  the  people 
from   the   straight  upward   path  through    short   cuts 
into  quagmires,  or  to  the  edge  of  the  precipice  :  at 
every   level   resting-place    the   leaders  have  declared 
loudly  that   the    summit    has  been   attained,  and  in 
eloquent   orations  have  called  upon   their  followers, 
and  the  world  at  large,  to  witness  and  admire  their 
cleverness  in  having  reached  it  with  so  little  labour. 
Every  transient  gleam  of  their  own  poor  rushlight 
has  been  hailed  in  resounding  phrases  as  the  bright 
sunshine  which  was  to  be  the  final  goal.     The  people 
in  the  meanwhile,  inexperienced  in  the  phenomena  of 
progress,  have  readily  taken  flowing  oratory  for  noble 
deeds,  and  flickering  candles  for  the  day's  eff"ulgence; 
only    to   give    way    to    bitter    disappointment     and 
paroxysms  of  rage  when  they  have  learnt  the  truth. 


and  have  been  forced  to  toil  upward  again  still  in 
the  twilight. 

But,  withal,  the  road  has  led  them  higher.  The 
squabbles  and  corruption  of  politicians,  the  folly 
and  blindness  of  those  who  sat  in  high  places,  have 
done  their  worst ;  but  those  who  have  patience  to 
read  to  the  end  the  story  here  told  will  see  that  in 
the  course  of  the  century  the  Spanish  nation,  in 
spite  of  all,  has  advanced,  and  is  still  advancing, 
though  slowly,  towards  the  material  prosperity  and 
enlightened  freedom  which  is  the  right  of  all  civilised 

I  may  fairly  claim  to  possess  some  special  qualifi- 
cations for  relating  many  of  the  incidents  set  forth  in 
this  history.  In  my  youth  I  have  listened  open-eyed 
for  hours  to  the  tales  of  aged  relatives  and  their 
friends  who  had  borne  active  part  in  the  great 
struggle  early  in  the  century.  Some  of  them  had 
been  friends  of  Godoy,  some  of  them  companions 
in  arms  of  Wellington  and  Hill  ;  and  from  the  mouth 
of  one  I  learnt  the  tragic  story  of  the  massacre  of 
the  2nd  of  May,  at  which  he  had  been  present.  The 
same  aged  gentleman  and  his  brother,  near  relatives 
of  my  own,  were  amongst  the  victims  of  the  despotism 
of  Fernando,  and  expiated  in  prison  and  in  exile  their 
adhesion  to  the  cause  of  the  Constitution.  From 
them,  many  a  time  and  oft,  have  I  heard  on  the 
spot  the  story  of  the  battle  of  the  Constitution  in 
the  Calle  Mayor  of  Madrid  on  the  7th  of  July, 
1822,  and  of  the  storming  of  the  palace  stairs  by 
Diego  de  Leon  in  1841  to  capture  the  young 
Queen   Isabel.     At  a  later  period  my  own  observa- 


tion  commenced,  and  as  a  keenly-interested  spectator 
and  friend  of  many  of  the  chief  actors  I  witnessed 
most  of  the  stirring  scenes  recounted  in  these  pages, 
from  the  revolution  of  1868  up  to  the  death  of 
Alfonso  XII.,  since  when  I  have  never  ceased  to 
follow  closely  the  incidents  of  the  contemporary 
history  of  Spain. 

In  a  work  containing  so  many  details,  I  cannot 
hope  to  have  escaped  errors,  but  I  may  claim  that 
I  have  done  my  best  to  avoid  them  ;  and  I  have 
been  careful  to  confirm  my  memory  of  the  events  I 
have  witnessed,  and  of  descriptions  given  to  me  by 
actors  in  earlier  scenes,  by  comparison  with  other 
contemporary  accounts. 

London,  October,  1899. 




Preface  to  the  Third  Edition     . 

Preface  to  the  Second  Edition  .         .         .         .      ix 

Introduction xv 


1-4 1 

Charles  IV.  and  Godoy — A  Fresh  Start  Down- 

Spain  in  the  Eighteenth  Century— Reforms  of  Charles  III. 
— Aranda  and  Floridablanca— Accession  of  Charles  IV.— 
The  "Pragmatic  Sanction"  and  the  Salic  law— Spain  and 
the  French  Revolution— Rise  and  rule  of  Godoy— War  with 
France— Godoy  Prince  of  the  Peace— Treaty  of  St.  Ildefonso 
and  war  with  England  —  Subjection  of  Spain  to  French 
interests — Napoleon. 

Spain  and  Napoleon — "Clay   in   the  Hands  of 

the  Potter"    ......       42-85 

Condition  of  the  country  at  the  beginning  of  the  centurj' —  y  j 
Population — Social  condition — Industry — Finance  and  Trade  ' 
— Education  and  Literature — Spain  dragged  at  the  tail  of 
France — Godoy's  war  with  Portugal — Treaty  of  Amiens — 
Godoy,  Maria  Luisa  and  Fernando  Prince  of  Asturias — 
The  Treaty  of  Paris  —  Napoleon  Emperor  —  Trafalgar  — 
Conflict  of  Fernando  and  Godoy — The  beguilement  of 






A  Distracted    Royal   Family   and   a    Betrayed 

Nation 86-122 

Fernando    and    Godoy — The     conspiracy    of    the    Escorial  a 

— Godoy  triumphant — Junot  in  Portugal — French  troops  in        /\, 
Spain — The    revolution    of  Aranjuez — Flight    of    Godoy — 
Abdication  of  Charles    IV. — Murat    in    Madrid — Entry   of 
King    Fernando  —  Fernando    enticed    into    France  —  The  y 

assembly  of  the  Spanish  Royal  Family  at  Bayonne — 
Squabbles  and  renunciations — The  Junta  at  Madrid— The 
abduction  of  the  Infantes — The  Dos  de  Mayo — Fernando 
a  prisoner. 


The  Peninsular  War       .....  123-178 

Finance  and  national  defence — Education  and  Literature 
(1808) — The  rising  of  the  country  against  the  French — 
Zaragoza — Bailen — Murat  and  the  Junta  in  Madrid — King 
Joseph  Bonaparte — Joseph's  flight  from  Madrid — The  Con- 
vention of  Cintra — Napoleon  at  Madrid — Moore's  retreat  on 
Corunna — Wellesley  in  Spain — Talavera — Joseph's  Govern- 
ment— The  Juntas — Destruction  of  the  Spanish  army — 
Flight  of  the  Junta  from  Seville  to  Cadiz — The  Cortes  of 
Cadiz— The  American  Colonies — The  first  Constitution. 


"  Fernando  the  Desired  " — Royal   Reward  for 

Devotion  .        .         .         .        .         .  179-247 

Salamanca — •  Wellington  in  Madrid  —  Vitoria  —  Flight  oi 
Joseph^Fernando  at  Valenyay — Return  of  Fernando  the 
Desired — The  decree  of  Valencia — "Death  to  Liberty!" 
^The  despot  in  his  capital — Fernando's  character — Tyranny 
unchecked — Revolt  and  repression — The  American  Colonies 
— The  revolt  of  Ricgo — The  Constitution  again — Triumphant 
democracy — Riego  in  Madrid  —  Oratory  —  Excesses  of  the 
democrats — Dissensions — Anarchy  in  the   Provinces — Battle 



of  the  Constitution  in  Madrid — Democracy  in  power — The 
Holy  AlHance — The  Regency  of  Urgel — Reactionist  revoki- 
tion — French  intervention — Fernando  conveyed  to  Andalusia 
— Angouleme's  invasion — Siege  of  Cadiz — Escape  of  Fer- 
nando— Despotism  wins — Execution  of  Riego. 

Despotism — Enlightened  and  Otherwise       .  24S-293 

Finance  (1823) — Social  life — Arts  and  industry — The  Drama 
— America — "The  Exterminating  Angel" — Persecution  of 
Liberals — Death  of  the  "Empecinado" — Calomarde — The 
Royal  Family — Fernando's  third  wife,  Cristina  of  Naples — 
Liberal  hopes — Torrijos — Birth  of  Isabel — Enlightenment  i'. 
Obscurantism— Intrigues  for  the  succession  —  Don  Carlos 
and  Cristina  —  Illness  of  Fernando — Abrogation  of  the 
"Pragmatic  Sanction"- — Revocation  of  the  abrogation — 
"\Vhite  hands  oflend  not" — Cristina  and  the  Liberals — 
Banishment  of  Don  Carlos  and  his  wife — Death  of  Fernando 
— Absolutism  militant. 

War  and  Anarchy    ....  .   294-347 

Review  of   Fernando's  reign — Literature — Cristina  Regent   ,^  ^ 
— Cea  Bermudez  and  enlightened  despotism — Martinez  de  1^.      /^. 
Rosa — Constitution   of  1834 — The   Carlist    war — Murder   of    ^ 
the  Jesuits  in  Madrid — Siege  of  Bilbao — Death  of  Zumala- 
carregui — "  Down  with  the  Friars" — Rising  in  Barcelona — 
Anarchy — Mendizabal     in     office — His    radical    measures — 
Church    property — The    English    legion    at    St.     Sebastian 
— Democratic  risings — Revolt  of  the  sergeants  at  La  Granja 
— Restoration    of    the    Constitution    of   1S12 — Espartero    at 
Bilbao — Democracy  in  power — Constitution  of  1837 — Defeat 
of  Evans  at  Hernani — His  subsequent  victories — Revolt  of 
the  Guards — Espartero  Prime  Minister — Don  Carlos  at  the 
gates  of  Madrid — His  retreat. 




Intrigue  and  Instability         ....  34S-403 

Decline  of  Carlism— Cabrera — Narvaez  —  The  end  of  the 
CarHst  war— Treaty  of  Vergara— Cristina  and  the  Liberals 
— Progress  to  Barcelona— RevoUition — Flight  of  Cristina— 
Espartero  Regent — Democracy  again  victorious — Diego  de 
Leon's  attempt  to  capture  Isabel — Counter  revolution  and 
flight  of  Espartero — Narvaez  dominant — Majority  of  Isabel 
— Her  person  and  character — Olozaga — The  Queen's  accu- 
sation— Fall  of  Olozaga  —  Persecution  of  Liberals — Social 
and  literary  condition  of  the  country — ^ "  The  Spanish 
marriages" — Renewed  Carlist  war  —  Dissensions  between 
Isabel  and  her  husband — Serrano  —  Return  of  Narvaez — 
Palace  reconciliations— Tumults  in  Madrid — Hopes  and 


On  the  Slope   of   Revolution — And   Over   the 

Brink        .         .         .         .         .         .         .  404-465 

Isabel's  political  methods — Brabo  Murillo— Birth  of  the 
Princess  of  Asturias — Attempt  on  Isabel's  life — Civilian 
reaction — San  Luis — Revolution  of  1854 — Rise  of  Leopold 
O'Donnell — Return  of  Espartero — The  "  Duumvirate  "^ 
The  Constitution  of  1S56 — Sale  of  the  Church  property 
— Palace  resistance  —  Betrayal  of  Espartero  —  O'Donnell 
supreme  —  Birth  of  Alfonso,  Prince  of  Asturias  —  The 
Liberal  Union — Revival  of  industry  and  prosperity — War 
with  Morocco — New  Carlist  fiasco — War  with  Chile  and 
Peru — Fall  of  O'Donnell  —  Withdrawal  of  the  Liberals 
from  constitutional  action — Prim  in  exile — The  Revolution 
of  1868— Flight  of  Isabel. 


**  For  ever  Fell  the  Bastard  Race  of  Bourbon  " 
—  A  Revolution  swamped  by  Revolu- 
tionists           .   ,         .  466-519 

Excesses  of  the  advanced  parties — The  revolution  in  Madrid 
— Organisation  of  the  new  Government — Prim's  popularity 

CONTENTS  xxili 


— The  monarchical  parties — The  Constituent  Cortes — Candi- 
dates for  the  throne— The  strife  of  parties — Election  of 
Amadeo — Spanisji  finance — Social,  material,  and  intellectual 
condition  of  the  country — Cuba — Murder  of  Prim — Reign  of 
Amadeo — Abdication — The  third  Carlist  war — The  Republic 
— Pavia's  Coup  d''Eiat — Continuance  of  the  war — Restora- 
tion of  Alfonso  XII. 


Restoration    without    Retrogression — A    Last 

Atonement       ......  520-563 

Alfonso's  popularity — Political  parties — End  of  the  Carlist 
war — National  finance — Constitution  of  1876 — Marriage  of 
the  King — Death  of  Mercedes — Fusion  of  the  Liberal  parties 
under  Sagasta  —  Second  marriage  of  Alfonso  —  Martinez 
Campos  and  the  Treaty  of  Zanjon — -Death  of  Alfonso  XII. 
— Financial,  commercial,  artistic,  and  literary  progress — 
Regency  of  Cristina — Reforms  of  1890 — Cuban  war,  1895-98 
— Loss  of  the  Colonies — Conclusion. 

A  Fresh  Start  Uphill 564 

Post-war  reaction — Position  of  the  monarch — Political 
parties — Regionalism — Morocco — The  World  War  and 
Spanish  neutrality — Social  and  economic  conditions — 
Ainericanisiiio — Industrial  conditions — Church  and  State — 
Education — Literature  and  Art — Conclusion. 

Index        .         .         .         .  .         .         .         .         -587 

Index  to  Supplementary  Chapter        .         .         .  597 

Alfonso  XIIL,  King  of  Spain       .  .     Frontispiece 

From  a  photograph  by  Russell  &=  Sons. 

Alfonso  XIIL,  King   of   Spain  Cat   the  age  of 

twelve)  .  .  .  .  .      xiv 

Count  de  Aranda         .  .  .         ■    .  7 

From    a   contemporary    French    engraving   tn    the    British 
Museum,  taken  during  his  embassy  in  Paris. 

The  Puerta  del  Sol,  Madrid       .  .  •       1 7 

From  a  woodcut,  late  eighteenth  century. 

Manuel  Godoy  .  .  .  ,  21 

From  a  contemporary  engraving  by  Carinona. 

Manuel  Godoy         .  .  ,  .  .29 

From  a  contemporary  engraving  at  the  time  of  his  fall. 

The  Family  of  Charles  IV.  .  .  .  47 

From  a  photograph  of  the  famous  painting  by  Goya  in  the 
Museo  del  Prado. 

Queen  Maria  Luisa  .  .  -59 

From  a  photograph  of  the  painting  by  Goya  in  ike  Museo 
del  Prado. 



Gate  of  the  Carmen  at  Zaragoza    .  .  135 

From  a  recent  photograph. 

Joseph  Bonaparte,  King  of  Spain  .  .    .143 

From  an  engraving. 

Fernando  VII.  ...  .185 

Frotn  a  lithograph  of  the  painting  by  Madrazo. 

Rafael  del  Riego  .....     203 
From  a  contemporary  engravitig. 

"The  Empecinado"       ....  259 

From  a  contemporary  engraving. 

Calomarde   .  .  .  •  •  .261 

From  a  contemporary  engraving. 

Maria  Cristina,  Regent  of  Spain     .  .  271 

From  a  contemporary  engravitig. 

The  Execution  of  Torrijos  and  his  Companions     279 

From  a  photograph  of  the  painting  by  Gisbert. 

Zumalacarregui  ....  305 

From  a  sketch  taken  from  life  by  one  of  his  officers  during 
the  war. 

MiNA  .  .  .  »  .  313 

From  a  contemporary  engraving. 

Don  Carlos  (the  First)  ,  .  -  329 

From  an  English  engraving  in  Walton's  "  Revolutions  of 



From  an  engraving  (1868). 

Queen   Maria  Cristina    at    the    time    of   her 
Expulsion  ..... 

From  a  photograph. 


Cabrera        ......     347 

From  an  engraving  published  during  the  first  Carlist  -.var. 


Narvaez        .  .  ,  ,  ,  '371 

From  an  engraving. 

Isabel  II.  ....  .  397 

F}-o»i  a  lithograph  of  the  painting  by  Lopez. 

The  Palace  of  the  Congress,  Madrid   .  .     405 

From  a  photograph. 


Leopold  O'Donnell  .  .  •  .    443 

From  a  lithograph  by  Vallejo. 

The  Puerta  del  Sol,   1868      .  ,  ,  453 

From  contemporary  print. 

The  Calle  de  Alcala  from  the  Prado  in  1868     463 

From  a  photograph.  (The  Jouniain  of  the  Sybil  on  the 
right  has  now  been  removed  to  the  middle  of  the  road,  and 
the  low  house  on  the  left— the  Duke  of  Sesto's  palace- 
has  been  demolished  to  make  room  for  the  new  Bank  of 
Spain.  The  building  lying  back  from  the  road  on  the 
right  foreground  is  Godoy's  palace,  now  the  War  Office, 
where  Prim  died.) 



Prim.  .  .  .  •  •     4^7 

From  an  engraving  of  Regnaulf  s  celebrated  painting  in  the 


Serrano  at  the  time  of  the  Revolution    .  473 

From  a  lithograph, 

Castelar       ......     478 

From  a  photograph. 

Amadeo  of  Savoy,  Duke  of  Aosta     .  .  483 

From  a  photograph. 

Prim,  at  the  time  of  his  Death  .  .     499 

From  a  photograph. 

Don  Carlos,  Duke  of  Madrid  .  ,  509 

From  an  etching  by  Bonnat. 

Alfonso  XII.  shortly  before  his  Death  .     521 

From  a  photograph. 

Sagasta  ...  •  •  539 

Frofn  a  recent  photograph. 

Maria  Cristina,  Mother  of  Alfonso  XIII.        .     549 
Canovas  del  Castillo.  .  .  •  555 

Froyn  a  photograph  by  Debas. 



,^1  'J 


y    'y 






Spain  in  the  last  half  of  the  eighteenth  century 
and  early  in  the  nineteenth  presented  the  curious 
phenomenon  of  a  nation  in  which  the  great  mass  of 
the  people  lagged  far  behind  successive  governments 
in  their  desire  for  progress  and  reform.  The  quicken- 
ing of  thought,  the  emancipation  of  expression,  the 
philosophical  theories  which  preceded  the  great 
uprising  of  the  French  Revolution  had  stopped  at 
the  barrier  of  the  Pyrenees  ;  and  with  the  exception 
of  a  comparatively  few  travelled  and  enlightened 
men  who  were  looked  upon  by  their  compatriots  as 
dangerous  innovators,  Voltaireans  and  Freemasons, 
the  Spanish  people  demanded  nothing  better  than  to 
live  in  their  own  way  in  peace,  giving  blind  love  and 
obedience  to  their  kings,  and  equally  blind  com- 
pliance with  the  forms  of  their  faith,  which  in  the 
great  majority  of  cases  had  degenerated  to  the 
blackest   and    grossest    superstition.      Nor  were  the 


people  themselves  to  blame  for  this.  In  natural 
gifts,  and  good  qualities  of  all  sorts,  they  had  hardly 
their  equal  in  Europe,  but  a  series  of  unexampled 
calamities,  owing  directly  to  crimes  and  errors  of 
their  governments,  had  separated  them  from  the 
industrial  and  intellectual  movement  of  the  rest  of 
the  civilised  world  ;  and  in  the  dawn  of  the  century 
of  light  still  held  them  enthralled  in  the  trammels 
of  the  age  of  darkness. 

By  the  end  of  the  seventeenth  century,  when  the 
last  King  of  Spain  of  the  house  of  Austria,  the  idiot 
Charles    II.,    died,    the    evil    had    been    done.       The 
centralising     system    of     government    initiated     by 
Charles  V.  and  Philip  II.  had,  under  the  rule  of  their 
degenerate  successors,  thrown    unchecked    power    in 
the  hands  of  a  series  of  corrupt  and  greedy  favourites. 
The    perfect    representative    institutions,    which    in 
earlier  ages  had  been  far  in  advance  of  any  parlia- 
ments elsewhere,  had  been  sapped   by   tyranny  and 
corruption,  and    had   become    effete    by    losing  hold 
of    the     national     purse-strings.       The    baleful    in- 
heritance   of    the    house    of    Burgundy    in    Central 
Europe  had  drawn  Spain  into  a  series  of  desolating 
wars   in  which  Spaniards,   as  such,  had  no  concern. 
Industry  had  been  almost  completely  strangled  by  a 
preposterous  fiscal  policy  which  cast  the  whole  of  the 
crushing   national    burdens    on    to    food    and    manu- 
factures ;  whilst  the  expulsion   of  the   Moriscos  and 
their  connection  with  handicrafts  had  caused  industry 
to  be  regarded  as  degrading  to  a  pure-born  Spaniard 
who  could  shoulder  a  pike  and,  with  good  luck,  plunder 
enough  doubloons  in  America  or  the  Low  Countries 


to  keep  him  in  swaggering  idleness  for  the  rest  of  his 
life.  The  Church  and  the  Inquisition  between  them, 
in  their  anxiety  to  shut  out  the  rehgious  schism 
which  troubled  other  countries,  had  built  a  Chinese 
wall  around  education  which  successfully  prevented 
the  introduction  of  scientific  advancement  or  intel- 
lectual progress  from  abroad,  and  had  strictly  limited 
the  exercise  of  Spanish  genius  to  works  of  imagina- 
tion. All  through  the  reign  of  the  first  Bourbon, 
Philip  v.,  the  nobles,  the  people,  and,  above  all,  the 
Church,  had  continued  to  offer  an  inert  or  active 
resistance  to  the  efforts  of  his  French  advisers  to 
introduce  reforms  into  the  administration  of  govern- 
ment. Beset  as  he  was  by  constant  wars,  and  later 
by  the  mental  lethargy  that  overcame  him,  he  did  as 
much  as  was  humanly  possible  under  the  circum- 
stances to  elevate  the  institutions  of  his  people 
against  their  will.  His  son  Ferdinand  VI.  was 
Spanish  by  birth  and  tradition,  and,  in  more  cautious 
fashion  than  his  father,  did  his  best  to  forward 
learning  and  the  softer  arts,;  and  to  give  them  a 
national  impress  which  should  relieve  them  from  the 
reproach  of  being  foreign  introductions.  But,  withal, 
when  Charles  IIL,  his  half-brother,  came  from  Naples 
to  rule  over  Spain  in  1759,  practically  a  foreigner  and 
surrounded  byToreign  ministers,  all  saturated,  like 
himself,  with  the  newer  philosophical  ideas  of  the 
French  school,  he  was  shocked  at  the  backward  and 
miserable^qndition  of  his  new  realm,  and  he  deter- 
mined that  Spain  should  be  brought^abreast  of  other 
civilised  nations,  whether  Spaniards  liked  it  or  not. 
He  worked  like  a  giant  at  his  tremendous  task,  and 

4  CHARLES    IV.    AND    GODOY. 

more  than  once  in  the  beghming  of  his  reign  his  crown 
trembled  in  the  balance  when  his  reforms  ran  counter 
to  the  prejudices  of  his  people  :  as,  for  instance,  when 
he  insisted  upon  lighting  the  streets  of  his  capital  and 
abolishing  the  ancient  dress  of  the  citizens,  who,  he  said, 
skulked  about  the  streets  with  covered  faces  more  like 
conspirators  than  the  subjects  of  a  civilised  monarch. 
For   well-nigh    thirty   years  the   greatest    of    the 
Spanish    Bourbons    strove    to    introduce    the   tardy 
light  of  advanced  civilisation  into  his  dominions  by 
the   aid    of    such    ministers    as    Grimaldo,    Aranda, 
Campomanes,   and    Floridablanca ;     and    when    the 
Jesuits  were  suspected  of  opposing  his  reforms,  with 
a  stroke  of  the  pen  one  of  the  most  powerful  organi- 
sations   in    Christendom   was    abolished    in     Spain, 
its  members  sent  into  exile  and    its  vast    property 
confiscated.     The  Inquisition,  which   had   overawed 
earlier  Spanish  monarchs,  and  the  Papacy,  which  in 
the  days  of  Spain's  weakness  had  endeavoured  once 
more  to  fix  its  grasp  upon  the  Spanish  Church,  were 
made  to  understand  that  in  Spain  only  one  monarch 
henceforward  would  be  allowed  to  rule  in  all  things 
temporal    and   spiritual,   namely,  he   who   wore   the 
crown    by    hereditary    descent.      It   was   despotism 
pure    and    simple,    for    the    Cortes    were  practically 
dead,  but  it  was,   in   the   hands   of  Charles    III.,  a 
beneficent  despotism  which  forced  upon  the  country, 
in  despite  of  itself,  the  material  and  civilising  reforms 
which  peoples  have  generally  to  wring  for  themselves 
from  unwilling  governments.     Fine  coach-roads  were 
run  through  the  country  for  the  first  time,  irrigation 
canals  brought  fertility  to  vast  arid  tracts  of  wilder- 


ness,  splendid  public  buildings  sprang  up  in  all  the 
important  towns,  of  which  they  still  remain  the  chief 
ornament.  The  crushing  burdens  which  had  strangled 
agriculture  and  industry  were  partially  lifted  from 
them,  and  foreign  artificers  were  brought  to  teach 
Spaniards  once  more  the  skilled  handicrafts  they  had 
lost.  The  crowding  of  unproductive  idlers  into  the 
church  and  the  cloisters  was  discouraged,  and  locked- 
up  wealth  and  lands  in  mortmain  in  the  hands  of 
religious  corporations  were,  to  some  small  extent, 
freed  for  the  general  good.^  Subsidised  factories 
and  heavy  protective  duties  fostered  the  renascent 
national  industries,  and  material  prosperity  smiled 
upon  Spain  for  the  first  time  for  two  centuries. 

But  though  Spaniards  accepted,  not  unwillingly, 
their  increased  wellbeing,  and  bent  their  heads  without 
open  demur  to  the  incomprehensible  measures  of 
their  monarch,  they  looked  with  undisguised  dislike 
at  the  spirit  with  which  the  reforms  were  pervaded. 
They  had  always  been  jealous  of  foreigners,  but  since 
the  advent  of  Philip  V.  the  French  workmen  and 
traders  had  swarmed  upon  them  like  locusts,  well-nigh 
monopolising  what  was  left  of  industry  and  commerce  ;2 

'  By  the  census  of  1768  it  is  shown  that  there  were  in  that  year  in 
Spain  15,639  parish  priests  ;  other  beneficed  clergymen,  assistant 
curates,  and  unemployed  priests,  51,000;  cloistered  clergy,  55,453;  nuns, 
27,665;  church  servants,  sacristans,  and  acolytes,  25,248.  In  twenty 
years  the  number  of  unemployed  clergy  was  reduced  by  over  8,000,  and 
the  cloistered  clergy  by  a  similar  number. 

-  A  census  of  foreigners  in  Spain  was  taken  in  1791,  when  it  was 
found  that  there  were  13,332  French  heads  of  families  established  in 
the  country,  as  against  1,577  Germans  and  140  English.  The  total 
number  of  domiciled  foreign  heads  of  families  was  27,500,  so  that 
nearly  half  were  French. 


and  against  Frenchmen  the  hatred  of  Spaniards 
was  exceptionally  bitter.  It  happened  that  the  new- 
fangled ideas  of  the  King,  and  particularly  of  his 
minister,  the  rash  and  impetuous  Count  de  Aranda, 
had  reached  them  through  France,  which  made  their 
measures  doubly  unwelcome  to  the  populace  and  to 
the  privileged  classes  who  especially  suffered.  The 
onesided  "  family  compact,"  by  which  Spain  and 
France  mutually  agreed  to  defend  each  other's  terri- 
tories and  interests,  led  Charles  into  the  trap  that 
his  less  able  half-brother  had  avoided  ;  and  a  series 
of  unpopular  wars  with  England,  in  which  Spain 
had  everything  to  lose  and  nothing  but  Mahon  and 
Gibraltar  to  regain,  absorbed  much  of  the  increased 
revenue  accruing  from  the  improved  financial  ad- 
ministration. As  Aranda  himself  foresaw  and  set 
forth  in  a  most  remarkable  prophecy,  the  aid  lent  by 
Spain  to  the  revolt  of  the  English  North  American 
Colonies  formed  a  dangerous  precedent  for  the 
separation  of  her  own  colonial  dominions,  and  pro- 
moted the  establishment  of  a  great  Anglo-Saxon 
republic  in  America,  which  in  time  to  come  should 
oust  Spain  from  her  last  foothold  in  the  New  World.^ 
Charles  himself  before  his  death,  under  the  gentler 
guidance  of  the  diplomatic  Floridablanca,  recognised 
his  error  in  binding  himself  too  tightly  to  France,  over 

'  "This  new  federal  Republic,"  wrote  Aranda  to  Floridablanca,  "is, 
so  to  speak,  born  a  mere  pigmy,  and  has  needed  the  support  of  two 
powerful  nations  like  France  and  Spain  to  win  its  independence.  But 
the  day  will  come  when  it  will  grow  into  a  giant,  a  terrible  Colossus. 
It  will  then  forget  the  benefits  it  has  received  and  think  only  of  its 
own  aggrandisement." 



which  and  the  ill-fated  Louis  XVL  che  clouds  were 
fast  gathering  when  the  King  of  Spain  breathed  his 
last  in  December,  1788.  For  two  years  previously 
Floridablanca  had  resolutely  refused  to  be  drawn 
again  into  the  vortex  of  war  and  trouble  which  was 
slowly  encircling  the  rest  of  Europe,  but  he  had 
continued  the  internal  reforms  which  he  hoped 
would  render  Spain  able  to  withstand  the  coming 
tempest.  He  had  against  him  the  advanced  pro- 
French  and  military  party,  led  by  Aranda  and 
O'Reilly,  as  well  as  the  discontented  clergy  and 
nobles  who  had  suffered  by  recent  changes,  and  he 
was  begging  for  his  retirement  when  the   old  King 


Amongst  the  Spanish  people  there  was  abso- 
lutely no  breath  of  revolutionary  feeling.  Loyalty 
to  the  sovereign  personally  was  a  deeply  rooted 
national  tradition,  and  although  their  strong  conser- 
vatism made  them  chary  of  welcoming  innovations, 
it  was  the  minister  and  not  the  monarch  who  was 
blamed  for  them.  With  skill  and  statesmanship  in 
avoiding  compromising  entanglements,  there  seemed 
a  better  chance  of  stability  for  the  Spanish  throne  at 
the  time  perhaps  than  for  any  other  on  the  Continent. 
The  high  personal  character  of  Charles  III.,  his  firm- 
ness, ability  and  justice,  had  contributed  largely  to 
this  result.  He  was  the  first  Spanish  sovereign  since 
Philip  n.  who  had  not  been  influenced  by  favourites, 
male  or  female,  and  although,  as  events  proved,  he 
lived  in  advance  of  his  age  and  country,  yet  if  his 
successor  had  possessed  similar  qualities  to  his  own 
it  is  probable  that  many  of  the  subsequent  disasters, 


which  cast   Spain   back  into  ruin,  would  have  been 

Charles  IV.  was  proclaimed  in  Madrid  in  January, 
1789.  He  was  a  simple,  honest,  kindly  soul  of  forty, 
a  man  of  scanty  mental  gifts,  generous  and  easily 
led  ;  yet  still  with  plenty  of  Bourbon  obstinacy,  and  a 
high  sense  of  his  kingly  privileges.  He  had  married 
several  years  before  his  cousin,  Maria  Luisa  of  Parma, 
who  had  inherited  to  a  greater  degree  than  her 
husband  the  strong  passions  and  imperious  self-will 
of  their  common  ancestress,  that  "  termagant  of 
Spain,"  Elisabeth  Farnese,  who  had  kept  all  Europe 
in  a  turmoil  during  the  earlier  years  of  the  century. 
The  new  King  was  thus  under  the  complete  dominion 
of  his  wife,  whose  caprices,  it  will  be  seen  in  the 
course  of  this  history,  certainly  did  not  help  him  to 
overcome  the  difficulties  before  him.  These  were 
many  and  pressing,  especially  those  of  a  financial 
character.  The  expensive  wars  of  Charles  HI.  against 
England,  the  consequent  re-construction  of  the  Spanish 
navy,  and  the  many  costly  innovations  in  Spain  and 
her  Colonies  had  been  paid  for  largely  by  money 
raised  on  treasury  bonds  to  bearer  for  ;^8,ooo,ooo,  and 
by  the  establishment  of  a  National  Bank  of  St.  Carlos, 
and  many  finance  and  credit  establishments  and 
Chartered  Companies  to  develop  the  Spanish  Colonies. 
A  vast  amount  of  floating  paper  was  thus  put  into 
circulation^  which,  by  the  death  of  Charles  HI.,  had 
greatly  depreciated  in  value.  The  Banks  and  Finance 
Companies  were  mostly  in  a  condition  of  semi-bank- 
ruptcy ;  and  the  failure  of  the  harvest,  and  the  rigorous 
winter  of  1788,  had   increased   the   almost  universal 


distress.  The  new  King's  first  decrees^  were  generous 
but  unwise.  Taxes  overdue  were  remitted,  bread  and 
other  necessary  food  was  made  cheaper  by  govern- 
ment subventions  to  producers  of  inferior  qualities, 
and  large  sums  of  money  were  raised  by  the  Treasury 
on  unnecessarily  onerous  terms,  which,  however,  sub- 
sequently turned  out  disastrously  for  the  lenders. 

During  the  whole  of  the  long  reign  of  Charles 
III.  the  Cortes  had  only  once  been  summoned, 
namely,  when  it  was  necessary  to  swear  allegiance  to 
the  heir-apparent  in  1760.  A  permanent  deputation  of 
the  Cortes  was  supposed  to  exist  in  Madrid,  in  which 
the  kingdom  of  Aragon  was  also  represented,  for  the 
purpose  of  watching  the  expenditure  of  the  excise, 
which  was  formerly  voted  by  the  representatives  of 
the  people  elected  by  the  Town  Councils  ;  but  to  all 
practical  intents  the  Spanish  parliaments  were  dead, 
and  only  met  once  in  a  reign  for  the  purpose  of 
swearing  allegiance  to  the  King,  and  acknowledging 
the  heir-apparent.  For  peculiar  reasons,  which  will 
presently  be  explained,  Charles  IV.  went  beyond  this 
in  the  Cortes  summoned  on  his  accession,  and  from 
his  innovation  results  ensued  which  to  the  present 
hour  divide  Spain  into  separate  camps,  and  have 
already  brought  upon  the  unhappy  country  two  deso- 
lating domestic  wars. 

With  all  pomp  and  ceremony  on  the  23rd  of  Sep- 

'  Charles's  first  decree,  signed  a  few  days  only  after  his  father's  death, 
recognised  all  the  vast  floating  debt  incurred  by  the  three  previous 
kings,  on  condition  that  the  holders  should  subscribe  three  times  the 
amount  of  their  claims  to  a  new  3  per  cent,  loan  secured  on  the  tobacco 
revenue.  As,  however,  this  source  of  revenue  was  already  over-hypothe- 
cated, the  subscribers  ultimately  lost  their  money. 


tember,  1789,  the  deputies  met  in  the  ancient  church 
of  St.  Geronimo,  and  there  took  the  usual  oath  o. 
allegiance.  It  had  become  customary  to  dismiss 
them  immediately  afterwards,  to  prevent  them  from 
asserting  their  ancient  right  to  initiate  legislation  by 
address  to  the  monarch ;  but  on  this  occasion  a 
mysterious  hint  had  been  given  in  the  summons  that 
something  else  would  be  asked  of  them  besides  the 
oath.  It  was  a  dangerous  time  to  try  experiments  of 
this  sort,  for  the  States-General  in  France  had  only 
three  months  before  kicked  over  the  traces,  proclaimed 
a  National  Assembly,  and  taken  the  memorable  oath 
in  the  Tennis  Court  which  inaugurated  the  Revolution ; 
but  Floridablanca,  who  still  remained  Prime  Minister, 
and  Campomanes,  the  President  of  the  Council  and 
of  the  Cortes,  knew  full  well  that  subversive  ideas 
had  yet  found  no  lodging  in  Spain.  The  deputies 
were  therefore  summoned  to  a  special  meeting,  and 
to  their  surprise  were  required  to  take  a  solemn  oath 
that  they  would  keep  secret  the  subject  of  their 
deliberations.  When  this  had  been  done  Campomanes 
divulged  that  the  King  desired  them  to  present  to 
him  in  the  ancient  form  a  representation  asking  him 
to  abolish  the  decree  of  1713,  in  which  Philip  V. 
established  the  Salic  law  in  Spain,  and  to  revert  to 
the  ancient  Spanish  rule  by  which  females  might 
succeed  failing  males  of  the  same  grade.  No  reason 
was  given  for  the  demand,  and  none  was  at  first 
glance  apparent,  for  the  King  had  three  young  sons 
living  as  well  as  daughters  ;  but  the  change  would 
naturally  be  a  welcome  ^one  to  Spaniards,  for  they 
still  recollected  that  Castile's  most  glorious  sovereign 


had  been  a  woman ;  and  the  Cortes  readily  acceded 
to  the  King's  wish,  begging  him  to  legaHse  the 
enactment  by  publishing  it  as  a  decree.  This  he 
promised  to  do,  but  did  not  for  reasons  which  will 
appear  later ;  and  so  the  matter  slept,  the  deputies 
and  ministers  keeping  the  secret  inviolate.  The 
Cortes  had  been  so  compliant  that  Count  Campo- 
manes,  the  president,  consulted  them  on  other 
measures,  with  the  object  of  checking  the  increasing 
entail  of  land,  and  encouraging  the  cultivation  of 
estates  held  in  mortmain;  but  the  moment  an  attempt 
was  made  by  some  of  the  members  to  introduce 
petitions  for  reform  of  their  own  accord,  they  were 
hurriedly  dismissed,  and  the  Cortes  came  to  an  end. 

The  reasons  which  prompted  Charles  IV.  to  request 
the  abolition  of  the  Salic  law,  and  then  fail  to  complete 
his  part  by  publishing  the  decree,  has  given  rise  to 
much  doubtful  speculation ;  but  the  most  obvious 
explanation  is  probably  the  true  one.  The  decree 
establishing  the  Salic  law  in  171 3  had  laid  down  the 
rule  that  the  heir  to  succeed  must  have  been  born 
in  Spain.  Charles  IV.  had  been  born  in  Naples,  and 
although  the  condition  just  mentioned  had  been 
omitted  from  the  codes  printed  in  the  reign  of 
Charles  III.,  it  was  still  the  law  of  the  land,  and 
rendered  Charles's  right  to  succeed  questionable.  On 
the  other  hand,  there  was  no  need  to  stir  up  the 
matter  unless  it  was  raised  by  others,  and  the  King 
could  at  any  time  he  thought  fit  perfect  the  new  law  by 
publishing  it  as  a  decree.  France,  moreover,  was  in 
a  turmoil,  and  the  King  was  drifting  ever  further 
away   from    the    Assembly,    which    at    one    moment 


seemed  to  contemplate  the  possibility  of  adopting 
one  of  the  Spanish  Bourbons  as  their  constitutional 
sovereign ;  and  it  may  have  appeared  unwise  to 
Charles  to  accentuate  points  of  difference  between 
France  and  Spain  by  abolishing  the  Salic  law  estab- 
lished by  his  French  grandfather. 

Floridablanca  had  continued  for  the  first  year  of  the 
new  King's  accession  the  reforms  begun  by  Charles 
III.,  but  he  was  an  old  man  whose  zeal  was  cooling. 
The  excesses  of  the  Assembly  in  France  frightened 
him.  He  had  been  an  advanced  reformer  for  the  greater 
part  of  his  life,  but  if  reform  led  to  the  subjection  of 
sovereigns  to  lieges,  to  the  storming  of  Bastilles,  to 
inflammatory  declamation  in  public  places  and  the  like, 
then  he  would  have  as  little  more  of  it  as  possible. 
His  policy  became  consequently  vacillating ;  balancing 
between  the  dread  of  irritating  the  French  Govern- 
ment, and  thus  aggravating  the  position  of  Louis 
XVI.,  and  yet  driven  by  his  fears  to  adopt  the  most 
tyrannical  measures  to  check  the  spread  of  advanced 
ideas.  By  a  decree  of  April  12,  1791,  all  news- 
papers in  Spain  were  suppressed  except  the  Official 
Gazette,  strict  watch  was  kept  on  the  frontier  to 
prevent  the  passage  of  news  or  propaganda  from 
France,  and  in  July,  1791,  a  monstrous  decree  was 
published  which  brought  upon  Spain  the  protests 
of  all  Europe.  Every  foreigner  in  Spain,  resident 
or  traveller — and  we  have  seen  that  a  half  of  them 
were  Frenchmen — was  to  swear  allegiance  to  the 
King  of  Spain  and  the  Catholic  religion,  and  renounce 
all  claim  or  right  of  appeal  for  protection  to  his  own 
nationality,  under  the  most  atrocious  penalties.  Whilst, 



on  the  one  hand,  he  was  showing  his  fear  of  the  French 
Revolution,  and  refusing  to  recognise  the  sovereignty 
of  the  people    proclaimed    by   the   Assembly  (July, 
1789),  Floridablanca  was,  on  the  other,  appealing  to 
the  family  compact  to  claim  armed  French  aid  against 
England    in    support    of    Spain's    pretension    to    the 
possession  of  the  whole  of  the  west  coast  of  North 
America.      The    Assembly   acceded    to    the  request, 
but  a  pacific  arrangement  was   made  by  means  of 
a    personal    interview  between  Charles   IV.  and  the 
English  ambassador,   and  fortunately  hostilities  did 
not    ensue.      The    impolitic    appeal,    however,    to  a 
revolutionary  government  tied  the  hands  of  Spain, 
and  rendered  the  other  Powers  suspicious  of  her  ;  it 
was  indeed  at  this  period,  and  not  later,  as  is  usually 
asserted,  that  the  weak,  fast-and-loose  policy  of  Spain 
towards    France,  which  afterwards  caused   so   much 
disaster,  was  inaugurated,  and  Floridablanca  and  his 
master  must  bear  a  fair  share  of  the  blame,  all  of 
which  is  usually  heaped  upon  Godoy. 

The  position,  it  is  true,  was  an  extremely  difficult 
one  for  Charles  IV.  The  chief  of  his  house,  the 
King  of  France,  insulted  and  held  in  duress  by 
his  subjects,  was  in  ever-growing  danger.  Ties  of 
blood  and  common  family  interest  naturally  led  the 
King  of  Spain  to  try  to  save  him.  And  yet  he 
dared  not  go  too  far,  for  the  National  Assembly 
was  in  no  mood  to  brook  foreign  interference,  and 
Spain  was  not  in  a  condition  to  undertake  a  war. 
The  French  emigres  were  unceasing  in  their  efforts 
to  enlist  Europe  in  aid  of  their  King,  and  so  far  as 
expressions  of  s^^mpathy  were  concerned,  they  had 


not  much  difificulty.  The  declaration  of  Pihiitz,  and 
the  agreement  of  the  Bourbon  princes  to  avenge 
any  further  ill-treatment  of  Louis  XVI.  after  the 
flight  and  arrest  at  Varennes  (June,  1791)  had  both 
been  preceded  by  long  and  wearisome  negotiations; 
and  much  precious  time  was  lost  before  any  action 
could  result  from  them,  owing  to  the  divergent 
interests  of  the  Powers,  their  jealousy  of  England, 
and  the  ineptitude  and  instability  of  the  unfortunate 
Louis  XVL  himself  Floridablanca,  slow  and  hesi- 
tating, and  depending  to  a  great  extent  upon  the 
guidance  of  the  Empress  of  Russia,  was  negotiating 
with  the  Emperor  Leopold  and  the  King  of  Prussia 
for  a  joint  invasion  of  France  in  the  interests  of 
Louis,  when  (September,  1791)  the  latter  accepted 
the  constitution  and  notified  the  fact  to  the  European 
Powers.  The  Emperor  and  the  other  potentates 
accepted  the  declaration  without  open  question,  in 
order  not  to  further  aggravate  Louis'  position,  but 
Floridablanca,  without  the  knowledge  of  Charles  IV., 
to  whom  he  rarely  spoke  of  foreign  affairs,  alone 
haughtily  declined  to  acknowledge  the  notification 
sent  in  Louis'  name  as  constitutional  King  of  the 
French,  until  he  had  quite  satisfied  himself  that  the 
change  had  been  made  freely  by  Louis'  own  wish. 
The  French  Government  were  furiously  indignant, 
and  Floridablanca  was   made  the  scapegoat. 

When  Charles  was  remonstrated  with  by  the  French 
and  Austrian  ambassadors  for  the  danger  in  which 
the  action  of  his  minister  placed  Louis,  he  told  them 
that  he  now  heard  of  it  for  the  first  time.  Florida- 
blanca's  wise  attempts  to    check   the    evils  of  land- 

l6  CHARLES   IV.   AND    GODOY. 

entail,  administrative  extravagance,  and  ecclesiastical 
abuses  in  Spain,  had  set  against  him  all  the  vested 
interests  in  the  country,  and  he  fell  (February,  1792), 
to  be  replaced  by  the  impetuous  Count  de  Aranda, 
who  was  infatuated  with  France  and  all  that  belonged 
to  her.  He  flew  to  the  opposite  extreme  and  embraced 
the  Revolution  without  condition  or  safeguards,  and 
the  signatories  of  the  declaration  of  Pilnitz,  Austria 
and  Prussia,  entered  into  the  war  alone  for  the  rescue 
of  the  Bourbon  sovereign  of  France. 

But  events  moved  quickly.  Louis  was  imprisoned 
In  the  Temple  (August,  1792),  and  the  Prussians  were 
routed  at  Valmy  and  Jemappes  ;  the  Terror  was  in  full 
r.wing,  lusting  for  the  blood  of  tyrants  the  world  over, 
and  calling  upon  the  enslaved  peoples  of  Europe  to 
r-hake  off  their  fetters.  The  Assembly,  insolent  with 
the  victory  over  the  Prussians,  instructed  their  ambas- 
sador— Bourgoing — in  Madrid  to  demand  of  Spain 
either  a  binding  alliance  or  the  alternative  of  war. 
Aranda's  eyes  were  opened  ;  Spain  was  in  financial 
straits  and  unprepared  for  war  :  but  for  the  Bourbon 
sovereign  of  Spain  to  be  forced  into  alliance  with  the 
revolutionary  Government  which  was  trying  the  head 
of  his  house  for  his  life  was  a  bitter  pill  indeed.  For 
some  weeks  previously  the  possibility  of  joining  the 
alliance  of  the  other  Powers  against  France  had  been 
discussed  by  Aranda  and  the  Council  of  State,  and  it 
was  practically  decided  that  Spain  should  join  the 
coalition  and  invade  France  over  the  Pyrenees.  The 
threats  of  the  French  Government,  however,  and  the 
fears  of  Charles  for  the  life  of  Louis  in  the  Temple 
paralysed  action,  and  another  attempt  was  made  to 







Q      C 








5  ^ 





1 8  CHARLES  IV.    AND    GODOY. 

mollify  the  raging  National  Convention.  The  Spanish 
minister  proposed  a  treaty  of  neutrality,  and  the 
French  were  inclined  to  listen.  But  the  terms  they 
demanded  were  bitterly  humiliating  for  the  Spanish 
Bourbons  to  accept.  Aranda  and  the  French  am- 
bassador, with  great  acrimony  and  recrimination  on 
both  sides,  were  endeavouring  to  come  to  terms, 
when  suddenly,  on  November  15,  1792,  without  warn- 
ing, the  aged  Prime  Minister  received  his  dismissal 
from  the  King.  The  position  was  known  to  be 
extremely  critical,  needing  the  highest  qualities  of 
statecraft,  if  Spain  was  to  preserve  her  peace,  safety, 
and  honour  ;  and  the  sudden  dismissal  of  Aranda 
left  the  country  aghast.  What  could  it  mean  ?  asked 
the  gossips  of  the  Puerta  del  Sol  with  bated  breath. 
There  was  only  one  answer,  whispered  with  frowning 
brows  and  glances  of  indignation  :  "  The  Choricero."  ^ 
When  Floridablanca  had  fallen,  the  same  power 
behind  the  throne  was  said  to  have  caused  the 
change,  although  Godoy  himself  afterwards  denied  the 
fact;  and  stealthy  murmurs  ran,  even  then,  that  the  bad 
times  of  the  adulterous  Queen  Mariana  and  the  vile 
favourite  Valenzuela  had  come  back  again.  But  when 
the  announcement  was  made  that  the  experienced 
and  dignified  Count  de  Aranda  was  to  be  replaced  by 
General  Don  Manuel  de  Godoy,  Duke  of  Alcudia — the 
Choricero  himself — disgust  and  indignation  were  only 
restrained  from  open  expression    by  the  traditional 

'  Godoy  received  the  nickname  of  the  Choricero — the  sausage-man — 
in  consequence  of  his  being  a  native  of  Estremadura,  where  the  breed- 
ing of  swine  is  the  principal  industry.  Most  of  the  sausage-makers  in 
Spain  are,  or  pretend  to  be,  Estremefios. 

FISE   AND  RULE    Of   GODOY.  1 9 

respect  of  Spaniards  for  the  throne,  and  their  love  for 
the  goodhearted,  fatherly  gentleman  whom  they  called 

A  word  is  necessary  before  we  proceed  further  as 
to  the  rise  of  Manuel  Godoy,  who  was  thus  at  the 
age  of  twenty-five  called  to  the  helm  of  State  at  per- 
haps the  most  difficult  crisis  of  his  country's  history. 
Few  historical  characters  have  been  the  object  of  so 
much  adulation  and  so  much  vituperation,  both 
equally  undeserved,  as  Godoy.  In  England  and 
Spain,  especially,  it  was  perhaps  natural  that  the 
man  whose  baseness  and  ambition  were  said  to  have 
dragged  his  country  to  the  feet  of  Napoleon,  and  to 
have  caused  the  Peninsular  War,  should  have  been  held 
up  to  execration  ;  and  the  most  absurd  fables  with 
regard  to  him  were  circulated  in  both  countries,  and 
are  still  copied  from  book  to  book.  All  the  bitter 
memories  associated  with  him  are  dead  now,  and  we 
can  look  upon  his  career  with  an  impartiality  denied 
to  our  grandfathers.  When  he  was  an  old  man,  living 
in  dire  poverty  and  oblivion  in  exile,  he  published  a 
vigorous  refutation  of  the  attacks  that  had  been  made 
upon  him  ;  but  it  fell  upon  deaf  ears,  for  it  came  too 
late.  He  had  waited  loyally  till  after  the  death  of  the 
King  and  Queen,  who  had  loved  him  to  the  last,  had 
unsealed  his  lips  ;  he  had  waited  until  his  arch-enemy 
the  false  Fernando  had  ended  his  unworthy  life,  and 
when  at  length  he  spoke  there  were  few  living  who 
cared  ;  for  the  world  was  a  new  one  and  Manuel 
Godoy  was  forgotten.  That  he  was  entirely  unfit  for 
the  task  thrust  upon  him  may  be  at  once  conceded  ; 
but  it  is  given  to  few  men  to  perceive  their  own  in- 

20  •  CHARLES   IV.    AND    GODOY. 

sufficiency,  and  with  wealth  and  honours  crowding 
upon  him  by  the  irresistible  passion  of  the  Queen  ; 
with  flatterers  and  suppliants  hailing  him  as  a 
heaven-born  genius,  with  kings  and  potentates  court- 
ing him,  it  cannot  be  surprising  that  Godoy,  a  mere 
half-educated  lad,  should  accept  complacently  the 
goods  the  gods  showered  upon  him,  and  do  the  best 
he  could  under  the  circumstances  according  to  his 
lights.  He  would  have  been  more  than  mortal  if  he 
had  spurned  his  good  fortune,  and  insisted  upon 
remaining  a  private  guardsman. 

He  had  come  to  Madrid  at  the  age  of  seventeen, 
the  son  of  one  of  those  small  gentlemen  in  the  pro- 
vinces living  humbly,  idly,  and  proudly  on  the  poor 
independence    furnished    by    their     ancestral    lands. 
They  scorned  commerce  and  industry,  and  thought 
more  of  their  coats-of-arms  than  the  coats  on  their 
backs  ;  there  was  little  for  their  sons  to  do  but  to  seek 
their  fortunes  in  the  career  of  arms,  or  in  the  house- 
hold   of    statesmen.       Manuel's    elder     brother   was 
already  in  the  King's   bodyguard,  and  the   lad   had 
sufficient  interest  also    to    obtain    admission    to    the 
corps.     The   members   were  all  of  noble   birth,  and 
ranked  as  officers,  doing  duty   in  the    passages  and 
antechambers   of  the  palace    and    as    escort    to   the 
sovereigns.       This    was    in    1784   or    1785,    and    the 
young   gusi'dsman    soon    caught    the    fancy    of    the 
Queen.      The   absurd   fables  of  his    enchanting   her 
with  his  guitar-playing  and  singing  may  be  dismissed, 
but  he   must   have  been  very   handsome,  for  in  his 
decrepit  old  age  his  bearing  was  extremely  graceful, 
and  the   Queen  fell  in  love  with   him,  although  she 
was  old  enough  to  be  his  mother. 


EL  Ex.-.S..])UOUI-:  DE  I A  MXT1>L\,| 


22  Charles  iv.  and  godoy. 

He  himself  naturally  avoids  all  mention  of  this, 
and  ascribes  his  elevation  to  the  desire  of  the  King 
and  Queen  to  have  at  their  right  hand  a  minister  of 
their  own  making  and  entirely  devoted  to  them. 
The  ministers,  they  said,  of  Louis  XVI.  had  played 
him  false,  and  the  same  might  happen  to  them.  A 
minister  of  their  own  raising  would  probably  be  more 
faithful.  This,  no  doubt,  was  the  King's  idea  ;  and 
was  in  strict  accordance  with  the  old  Spanish  system 
of  the  great  Emperor  and  of  Philip  II. ;  but  the  choice 
of  Godoy  for  the  position  was  that  of  Maria  Luisa, 
who  had  already  caused  the  lad's  promotion  to  a 
grade  which  brought  him  into  direct  contact  with  the 
royal  family  before  she  began  the  education  which 
was  to  fit  him  to  be  Prime  Minister.  In  1790,  when 
he  was  only  twenty-three,  he  was  always  present  at 
the  confidential  interviews  between  the  King  and 
Queen  and  the  ministers ;  and  Maria  Luisa  en- 
couraged him  to  display  his  wit  and  acuteness  in 
political  conversations  with  the  King,  who  was  soon 
persuaded  by  his  wife  that  this  was  the  raw  material 
out  of  which  their  own  model  minister  should  be 
made.  Before  he  was  twenty-five  he  was  rapidly 
advanced,  successively  to  be  a  Knight  Commander 
of  Santiago,  Exon  of  the  Guards,  Adjutant-General 
of  the  Guards,  Lieutenant-General  in  the  Army, 
Grand  Cross  of  Charles  III.,  Duke  of  Alcudia, 
Grandee  of  Spain,  Knight  of  the  Golden  Fleece, 
Gentleman  of  the  King's  Chamber,  and,  as  we  have 
seen,  Councillor  of  State,  and  Prime  Minister  on  the 
fall  of  Aranda  in  November,  1792. 

He  found   the  condition  of  the  country  truly  de- 

SPAIN  AND   LOUIS    VI.  23 

plorable.  It  has  been  shown  that  the  mass  of  the 
people  were  entirely  out  of  sympathy  with  the 
reforming  zeal  of  Charles  III.  and  his  ministers  ;  the 
Church  and  the  nobles  went  further,  and  were  to  a 
large  extent  actively  antagonistic.  The  excesses  of 
the  French  Revolution  had,  moreover,  frightened  the 
reformers  themselves,  and  the  inevitable  financial 
collapse  of  the  edifice  of  credit  reared  by  Charles  III., 
depending,  as  it  did,  upon  public  support  and  sym- 
pathy, came  when  the  tide  of  reform  sank  to  its 
ebb.  Godoy  in  his  apology,  written  when  he  was  an 
old  man,  passionately  points  out  the  difficulties  which 
he,  an  inexperienced  youth,  had  to  face  at  this  junc- 
ture. From  motives  of  economy  the  army  had  been 
allowed  to  dwindle  to  36,000  ill-equipped  men  ;  for 
Floridablanca's  fear,  and  Aranda's  dislike,  of  England 
had  caused  all  the  money  to  be  spent  on  the  navy. 
War  with  France  was  now  almost  inevitable,  there 
was  no  reserve  in  the  treasury,  and  the  revenues  were 
inelastic,  for  the  gross  evils  of  land-entail  and  idle 
Church  endowments  still  condemned  much  of  the 
potential  wealth  of  the  country  to  lie  waste.  The 
moneyed  classes  were  distrustful  of  the  tax-collector 
and  hid  their  resources ;  and,  notwithstanding  the 
efforts  that  had  been  made  by  Charles  III.  and  his 
enlightened  ministers,  Spaniards  of  all  ranks  con- 
tinued to  look  upon  trade  and  industry  as  unworthy  ;  - 
and  crowded  into  the  idle  and  unproductive  careers 
of  the  State  service  and  the  Church. 

The  first  problem  for  Godoy  was  how  to  save  the 
life  of  Louis,  and  yet  escape  the  humiliating  conditions 
imposed  by    the  National    Convention    as  the   price 

^4  CHARLES   IV.    AND   GODOV. 

of  peace  between  France  and  Spain.  The  course 
adopted  was  probably  that  of  Charles  IV.  and  his 
Queen,  rather  than  that  of  their  young  minister,  for 
it  was  characteristically  Bourbonic.  Unlimited  credit 
was  sent  to  the  Spanish  ambassador  in  Paris  to  bribe 
the  members  of  the  National  Convention,  and  vast 
sums  were  squandered  in  this  way.  With  the  draft 
of  a  treaty  to  Paris  went  a  mild  and  timid  request 
that  the  life  of  Louis  should  be  spared,  and  Pitt  was 
cautiously  approached  by  Godoy  with  a  suggestion 
that  England  should  join  in  the  request,  a  course 
which  Pitt  refused  to  adopt,  although  urged  thereto 
by  the  Whigs.  In  vain  Aranda  solemnly  warned 
Godoy  that  if  Louis  were  executed  in  despite  of 
Spain's  remonstrance,  war  would  be  inevitable,  and 
begged  him  to  be  cautious ;  but  Charles  IV.  was 
determined  to  save  his  French  cousin  at  any  cost,  and 
the  prayer  of  Spain  was  laid  before  the  Convention, 
with  the  draft  treaty,  in  the  last  days  of  December. 
Charles  offered  to  recognise  the  new  government  ; 
nay,  even  to  acquiesce  in  the  deposition  and  exile  of 
Louis,  and  to  give  hostages  for  his  future  behaviour ; 
and  simultaneously  to  sign  the  treaty  of  neutrality 
and  mutual  disarmament.  Lebrun,  the  minister  of 
Foreign  Affairs,  was  suspicious  that  the  treaty  was 
to  be  used  merely  as  a  lever  to  save  Louis'  life  ;  but 
many  of  the  leaders  of  the  Revolution  were  heavily 
bribed  by  Ocariz,  the  Spanish  ambassador  ;  and  for 
a  moment  after  the  prayer  for  the  King's  life  was 
read  to  the  Convention,  the  answer  seemed  to  hang  in 
the  balance.  Then  up  sprang  fiery  Thuriot.  "Away," 
he  shouted,   "with  kings  and    their   influence.      Let 


]VAJ?   WITH  FRANCE.  25 

not  the  foreign  ruffians,  the  crowned  brigands,  dare 
to  threaten  the  majesty  of  the  people,  or  form  cabals 
against  us."  His  furious  eloquence  carried  the  Con- 
vention with  him,  and  the  Spanish  King's  prayer  was 
ignominiously  rejected.  The  draft  treaty  was  altered 
by  the  Convention  in  a  sense  still  more  favourable  to 
France,  and  sent  back  to  Spain  for  reconsideration  ; 
but  still  Charles  and  Godoy  pocketed  the  insults,  for 
the  sake  of  the  life  of  Louis.  Once  more,  indeed, 
whilst  the  votes  of  the  members  were  being  counted 
to  decide  whether  the  King  was  to  die,  Ocariz,  the 
Spanish  ambassador,  made  a  last  appeal  for  mercy 
for  Louis  on  any  conditions.  He  had  bought,  as  he 
thought,  a  majority  of  the  Convention,  and  again  it 
seemed  as  if  the  last  penance  of  the  unhappy  King 
might  be  spared.  But  gloomy  Danton  overawed 
them  all,  and  the  die  of  death  was  cast. 

Thenceforward  war  between  France  and  Spain  could 
hardly  be  avoided.  Godoy  plaintively  protests  that  it 
was  not  his  fault.  Perhaps  it  was  not,  but  it  has  become 
a  fixed  article  of  faith  that  the  war  was  of  his  making, 
and  his  memory  bears  the  burden  to  all  eternity. 
Bourgoing,  the  French  ambassador  in  Madrid,  de- 
manded the  ratification  of  the  neutrality  treaty,  and 
the  disarmament  of  Spain,  but  was  told  that  nothing 
further  could  be  done  until  some  sort  of  apology  was 
made.  The  Convention  was  not  in  an  apologetic  mood, 
and  war  was  declared  by  France  on  March  7,  1793  ; 
Barrere  in  the  name  of  the  Committee  of  National 
Defence  announcing  that  the  Bourbons  must  be  extir- 
pated root  and  branch.  All  Floridablanca's  panic- 
prompted  measures  to  suppress  revolutionary  teaching 


were  cast  in  the  teeth  of  Spain  ;  all  the  efforts  of 
Charles  to  save  Louis,  all  Godoy's  approaches  to 
England,  were  cited  by  France  as  pretexts  for  war. 
The  Convention  had  assumed  the  role  of  universal 
emancipator  of  peoples ;  but  the  Spanish  nation  did 
not  desire  emancipation,  and  the  war  was  popular  on 
both  sides  of  the  Pyrenees.  In  Spain  the  hoarded 
millions  were  poured  out  into  the  hands  of  the  King 
to  be  spent  on  the  war.^  The  Church,  the  nobles,  the 
populace  vied  with  each  other  now  ;  for  it  was  no 
longer  a  people  sulkily  bending  their  heads  to  reforms 
forced  upon  them,  it  was  the  whole  nation  flying  to 
arms  to  fight  the  spirit  of  reform  itself  in  the  hideous 
and  exaggerated  shape  which  its  Spanish  opponents 
had  always  foretold  it  would  assume.  The  Spanish 
nation  was  ablaze  to  wreak  vengeance  on  the  French 
money-grubbers  who  had  well-nigh  monopolised  the 
work  in  their  towns,  and  whose  countrymen  in  Paris 
had  insulted  and  trampled  on  their  faith  and  murdered 
the  anointed  of  the  Lord. 

Enthusiastic  as  were  the  people,  however,  the 
organisation  and  equipment  of  the  army  were  as  bad 
as  could  be,  and  though  great  commanders  sprang, 
as  if  by  magic,  to  lead  the  hastily  raised  hosts  of 
France  against  the  Royalists  and  the  armed  coalition 

'  ^e  Pradt  says  that  whereas  France  had  under  the  Assembly  only 
contributed  five  millions  of  francs  for  the  defence  of  the  country,  and 
that  England  at  the  commencement  of  this  very  war  of  1793  only  pro- 
vided forty-five  millions,  the  amount  of  money  voluntarily  subscribed 
by  Spaniards  at  this  juncture  reached  the  great  total  of  seventy-three 
millions,  or  nearly  three  millions  sterling.  The  Archbishop  of  Toledo 
alone  gave  ^^250,000 ;  and  the  contributions  in  men,  horses,  arms, 
and  stores  from  the  nation  at  large  were  as  generous  as  the  money  gifts. 

IV A  J?   WITH  FRANCE.  2y 

of  Europe  which  was  advancing  to  destroy  the  Revolu- 
tion, no  such  good  fortune  attended  Spain,  where  for 
centuries  the  system  of  government  had  discouraged 
individual  initiative.  With  prodigious  activity  the 
armies  of  the  Republic  faced  and  vanquished  its  foes 
on  all  sides.  A  Spanish  army  of  3,000  men  in  April, 
1793,  crossed  the  Pyrenees  into  Rousillon,  capturing 
place  after  place  and  marching  upon  Perpignan.  But 
the  general,  Ricardos,  had  left  his  rear  unprotected, 
and  General  Dagobert,  with  a  large  French  force, 
slipped  behind  him  and  overran  the  north  of  Cataluna. 
All  through  the  summer  hard  fighting  continued  on 
both  sides  of  the  frontier,  without  decisive  result, 
whilst  the  French  Royalists,  besieged  in  Toulon,  were 
reinforced  by  a  Spanish  fleet  in  union  with  the  Eng- 
lish fleet  under  Hood.  But  jealousy  and  mutual 
recrimination  took  place  between  the  Spanish  and  Eng- 
lish admirals,  the  Republican  land  force  outside  was 
overwhelming,  the  youthful  genius  of  Napoleon  was 
already  making  itself  felt ;  the  allies  abandoned  the 
besieged  city — for  which  the  Spaniards  mainly  blamed 
Hood,  whom  they  accused  of  utter  disregard  for  the 
lives  and  interests  of  the  Royalists  and  the  Spaniards. 
Much,  however,  as  the  latter  resented  the  burning  of 
the  Royalist  ships  by  Hood  inside  the  harbour,  and 
the  destruction  of  the  arsenal,  it  unquestionably  left 
England  mistress  of  the  Mediterranean  when  Toulon 
fell  into  the  hands  of  the  Republic. 

Before  the  new  campaign  of  1794  commenced 
Charles  IV.  called  a  council  at  Aranjuez  to  review  the 
situation.  In  it  the  aged  Aranda  read  a  paper  strongly 
reflecting  on  Godoy's  conduct  of  the  war,  and  advo- 


eating  a  modus  vivendi  with  France.  Hot  words, 
almost  blows,  ensued  between  Godoy  and  Aranda  in 
the  King's  presence.  An  insult  to  the  favourite  was 
regarded  by  the  infatuated  Charles  as  an  insult  to 
himself.  He  received  Aranda's  humble  apology  with 
rag-e,  and  within  an  hour  the  old  minister  was  being 
hurried,  without  preparation,  to  his  prison  in  remote 
Jaen,  never  again  to  enter  the  councils  of  his  sove- 
reign •  although  Godoy  claims  for  himself  the  credit 
of  subsequently  obtaining  his  release  from  close  con- 
finement and  from  the  threatened  prosecution  of  the 

The  campaign  of  1794  was  from  the  beginning 
disastrous  to  the  Spaniards.  First  the  brave  and 
dashing  General  Ricardos  died,  and  his  successor. 
Count  O'Reilly,  also  died  before  he  could  assume 
command.  The  new  general,  Count  de  la  Union,  was 
out-manoeuvred  by  Dugommier,  and  his  lines  of  com- 
munication cut.  The  Spaniards  were  disorganised 
and  routed  and  re-crossed  the  Pyrenees  in  May,  fol- 
lowed by  Dugommier.  All  through  the  summer  the 
fighting  continued  on  the  Spanish  side,  and  in  Sep- 
tember the  one  French  fortress  in  Spanish  hands, 
Bellegarde,  surrendered  after  a  three  months'  siege. 
In  November  the  Spaniards  were  finally  routed  with 
enormous  loss,  both  La  Union  and  Dugommier  fall- 
ing ,  the  strong  Spanish  fortress  of  Figueras  sur- 
rendered treacherously  and  all  Northern  Spain  was  at 
the  mercy  of  the  French.  The  Spaniards  were  equally 
unsuccessful  at  the  eastern  end  of  the  Pyrenees  in 
Guipuzcoa  and  Navarre  ;  and  only  with  the  greatest 
difficulty   could    fresh    Spanish    forces    be  raised   to 


{At  the  time  of  his  fall.) 

30  CHARLES   IV.    AND    GODOY. 

recommence  the  campaign  in  the  spring  of  1795  ;  for 
the  country  was  now  openly  murmuring  against  the 
inglorious  results  of  Godoy's  government.  The  French 
army  had  crossed  the  Ebro  and  threatened  Madrid. 
The  cold  fit  had  succeeded  Spanish  ardour ;  and  now 
that  Robespierre  had  lost  his  head,  the  Republic  itself, 
under  the  Directory,  became  less  violent  and  blood- 
thirsty. Mutual  approaches  therefore  took  place  and 
peace  was  signed  in  July,  France  evacuating  Spanish 
soil,  whilst  Spain  ceded  to  the  Republic  the  Spanish 
part  of  Santo  Domingo.  The  peace  was  generally 
popular  in  Spain,  although  it  has  always  been 
characterised  by  the  enemies  of  Godoy  as  a  shameful 
surrender.  Seeing  that  the  coalition  of  the  northern 
Powers  had  broken  up,  and  that  French  armies  were 
strongly  established  on  Spanish  soil,  it  is  difficult  to 
see  how  better  terms  could  have  been  made.  Godoy 
himself  points  out  that  at  least  Spain  retained  her 
frontiers  and  her  institutions  intact,  which  some  of  the 
other  Powers  did  not.  In  any  case,  Godoy  was  the 
only  person  who  gained  directly,  either  by  the  war  or 
its  conclusion,  for  the  title  of  Prince  of  the  Peace  re- 
warded his  efforts,  and  the  disgust  of  the  people  at 
large  against  the  Choricero  grew  deeper  and  deeper  as 
such  instances  of  the  Queen's  infatuation  and  the 
King's  apparent  compliance  multiplied. 

At  this  distance  of  time  it  seems  that  Gcdoy  was 
not  so  much  to  blame  for  concluding  the  peace  as  for 
the  deplorable  policy  he  followed  immediately  after- 
wards. England  was  still  at  war  with  the  Republic, 
and  looked  frowningly  upon  the  terms  of  the  peace 
which  deprived  her  of  an  ally.     The  increase  of  French 

IV A  J?   WITH  ENGLAND.  3 1 

power  in  the  West  Indies,  moreover,  did  not  suit  her, 
and  matters  became  strained  again  between  Spain  and 
England,  which  had  never  forgotten  the  aid  of  Charles 
III.  to  the  United  States.  In  the  circumstances, 
therefore,  it  would  have  been  common  prudence  for 
Godoy  to  have  assumed  a  conciliatory  attitude  towards 
England  and  to  have  preserved  complete  neutrality. 
Instead  of  this,  immediately  after  peace  was  signed,  he 
began  making  approaches  to  the  Republic  for  an 
offensive  and  defensive  alliance  in  anticipation  of  a 
war  with  England.  The  Directory,  eager  to  secure 
the  aid  of  the  Spanish  fleet,  readily  embraced  the 
opportunity  and  Godoy  signed,  in  August,  the  disastrous 
treaty  of  San  Ildefonso,  by  which  exhausted  Spain 
found  herself  again  face  to  face  with  England,  the  great 
naval  power  which  alone  could  seriously  injure  her. 
To  be  dragged  at  the  tail  of  France  was  bad  enough 
when  family  ties  and  mutual  interests  bound  the  two 
despotic  sovereigns  together ;  but  for  the  Spanish 
Bourbon  to  make  common  cause  with  the  revolutionary 
government,  which  could  in  no  way  serve  the  interest 
of  Spain,  was  nothing  less  than  suicidal.^  What 
wonder  that  thenceforward  French  statesmen  should 
treat  Spain  contemptuously  as  a  tool  to  be  used  as 
best  suited  them  ? 

On  the  6th  of  October,  1796,  Charles  IV.  declared 
war  against  England,  raking  up  all  old  grievances — not 

'  There  is  every  reason  to  believe  that  Godoy's  extraordinary  policy 
at  this  juncture  was  prompted  by  intrigues  emanating  from  Paris,  of 
which  he  was  the  dupe.  He  was  persuaded  that  the  Republic  could 
not  long  endure  ;  and  the  raising  of  a  Spanish  Bourbon  to  the  throne  of 
France  was  the  bait  he  swallowed,  probably  with  the  hope  also  of  an 
independent  principality  for  himself. 

32  CHARLES   IV.   AND    GODOY. 

forgetting  Hood's  quarrel  with  Gravina  at  Toulon — to 
serve  as  a  pretext.  Even  then  England  signified  her 
willingness  to  make  peace  with  both  Powers,  if  the 
cession  of  Santo  Domingo  to  France  was  rescinded  ; 
but  the  Directory  would  not  give  way,  for  General 
Bonaparte  was  making  his  triumphal  march  through 
Italy,  ^'''^d  everywhere  the  arms  of  France  were  vic- 
torious. The  first  action  in  the  war  against  England 
was  disastrous  for 'Spain.  The  Spanish  fleet,  in  b^d 
condition  and  poorly  manned,  but  apparently  power- 
ful, consisting  of  25  line-of-battle  ships  and  10 
frigates,  on  its  way  to  Cadiz  to  refit,  was  met  by 
Admiral  Jervis  off  Cape  St.  Vincent,  with  15  sail,  on 
the  14th  of  February,  1797,  and  utterly  routed,  with  the 
loss  of  five  of  the  finest  ships  under  the  Spanish  flag. 
In  July  Commodore  Nelson  made  an  attempt  to 
repeat  the  exploit  of  Essex  at  Cadiz  two  hundred 
years  before  and  burn  the  ships  in  harbour  ;  failing  in 
which  he  made  an  equally  unsuccessful  dash  upon/ 
Tenerife.  In  the  West  Indies  the  English  were  some- 
what more  successful,  capturing  Trinidad,  although 
failing  in  Porto  Rico  and  Central  America.  Thus  far 
Spain  only  had  suffered  disaster  from  the  war,  for  in 
no  case  had  she  anything  to  gain  except  by  a  treaty 
of  peace  with  a  defeated  England.  Of  this  there 
seemed  no  probability,  notwithstanding  the  threatened 
invasion  of  Ireland,  for  anarchy  was  again  prevailing 
in  Paris,  and  Napoleon's  hands  were  full  in  Austria 
and  Italy. 

When  the  Emperor  Francis  was  obliged  to  open 
negotiations  for  peace  (April,  1797),  Godoy's  emis- 
saries were  refused  by  France  all  participation  in  the 


negotiations.  This  was  a  serious  rebuff,  but  much 
greater  was  it  when,  on  the  opening  of  the  abortive 
negotiations  between  France  and  England  at  Lille, 
Spain  was  entirely  deserted  by  her  ally,  excluded 
from  the  conference,  and  her  claims  against  England 
not  even  promoted.  Notwithstanding  her  protests, 
Gibraltar  and  Trinidad  still  remained  in  the  hands  of 
the  English.  Spain's  pretensions  to  the  sovereignty 
of  the  West  Coast  of  North  America  were  treated  with 
contempt,  and  in  view  of  the  rapidly  rising  star  of 
Napoleon,  Godoy  and  his  king  must  have  been  blind 
if  they  did  not  see  that  they  had  been  hoodwinked 
and  cheated.  Thanks  to  Bonaparte's  brilliant  dis- 
obedience to  the  Directory,  he  forced  a  peace  upon 
Austria  (October  17)  by  which  France  gained  Bel- 
gium, the  Rhine  provinces,  Mayence,  the  Ionian  Isles, 
and  most  of  Northern  Italy,  whilst  the  independence 
of  Venice  was  sacrificed  to  Austria;  and  the  whole 
power  of  the  Republic  and  its  satellites,  Spain  and 
Holland,  was  free  to  be  employed  against  England, 
whose  ally  Portugal,  even,  had  been  forced  by  Godoy 
to  abandon  her,  on  renewed  threats  of  a  French  inva- 

Spain  in  the  meanwhile  was  being  dragged  more 
and  more  at  the  tail  of  the  Republic.  The  Duke  of 
Parma,  the  brother-in-law  of  Charles,  found  the  new 
Cis- Alpine  Republic  (Modena)  established  by  Bona- 
parte, an  unquiet  neighbour  to  his  ancestral  domains, 
and  the  Directory  for  some  time  endeavoured  to  force 
him  into  resigning  his  duchy  in  exchange  for  Tuscany 
or  else  for  Corsica  and  Sardinia,  whilst  Charles  was  to 
surrender  to  France  Louisiana  and  Plorida.     But  the 


34  CHARLES   IV.    AND   GODOY. 

terms  of  the  Directory  were  not  acceptable  to  any  of 
the  parties  concerned,  and  the  matter  slumbered,  until 
the  troops  of  the  Cis-Alpine  Republic  overran  the 
duchy  of  Parma,  and  proclaimed  the  deposition  of  the 
duke.  The  latter  was  willing  then  to  accept  the  ex- 
change previously  offered.  But  it  was  too  late,  and 
he  was  forced  instead  to  receive  a  French  army  into 
his  territory  and  his  pay,  nominally  to  uphold  him. 
In  vain  Charles  and  the  duke  protested.  The  French 
troops  were  in  Parma  and  there  they  stayed. 

Another  instance  of  the  determination  of  France  to 
use  Spain  as  an  instrument  to  her  ends  was  the  intrigue 
set  on  foot  when  Bonaparte's  expedition  to  Egypt  was 
being  secretly  planned.   It  was  suggested  by  the  French 
Government  that  the  Grand  Mastership  of  St.  John, 
which   meant    the    sovereignty  of   Malta,  should   be 
granted  to  Godoy,  in  whose  favour  the  constitution  of 
the  order  should  be  altered,  and  the  rule  of  celibacy 
abolished.      Charles   IV.  seems  to  have  approved  of 
this  plan  for  further  elevating  his  beloved  favourite, 
but  the  Prince  of  the  Peace  had  no  wish  to  be  separated 
from  his  patroness  and  refused  the  offered  sovereignty, 
although  to  make  him  the  more  worthy  of  it  the  King 
and  Queen  had  conceived  the  idea  of  marrying  him  to 
a  member  of  their  own  family,  the  eldest  daughter 
of  the   King's   brother,    Don   Luis,  i  which   marriage 
actually  took  place  in  September,  to  the  outspoken 
indignation    of    the    people,    Godoy    being    already 
married  to  ^  Dofia  Josefa  Tudo. 

The  discontent  of  the  Spanish  people  against  Godoy 

"  The  Infante  Luis  had  married  morganatically  Dona  Maria  Teresa 
Villabriga  y  Drummond. 


was  indeed  becoming  threatening.  The  hope  of  the 
crown  of  France  for  a  Spanish  prince  was  now  seen  to 
be  illusory ;  Spanish  interests  had  been  openly  dis- 
regarded by  the  Directory.  In  Portugal,  where  it  had 
refused  to  ratify  the  treaty  of  peace  laboriously 
negotiated  by  Godoy  ;  in  Parma,  where  the  sovereignty 
of  the  duke  had  been  treated  with  contempt ;  in  Rome, 
where  the  Pontiff  had  been  deposed  from  the  throne 
of  St.  Peter,  in  the  peace  negotiations  with  England  ; 
everywhere  Spain  had  been  sacrificed  in  the  eyes  of 
the  world.  Godoy  had  therefore  somewhat  intem- 
perately  urged  the  French  Government  to  fulfil  their 
part  of  the  bargain  :  and  they  had  retorted  by  setting 
on  foot  intrigues  to  remove  the  favourite  from  his 
offices.  This  was  no  doubt  the  prime  motive  of  the  offer 
of  the  sovereignty  of  Malta,  and  when  that  failed  other 
means  were  tried.  Godoy's  enemies  were  many,  and 
he  understood  that  his  position  was  precarious.  He 
attempted  to  appease  the  Directory  by  eager  anticipa- 
tion of  their  wishes.  He  ordered  the  Spanish  fleet  to 
leave  Cadiz  and  engage  the  English  squadron  under 
Lord  St.  Vincent,  and  promised  to  expel  the  French 
emigres  from  Spain,  but  he  could  not  satisfy  his 
hard  taskmasters.  The  French  ambassador,  Truguet, 
almost  insolently  urged  upon  poor  overburdened 
Charles  to  dismiss  Godoy:  the  enemies  of  the  favourite 
whispered  to  the  King  distrust  and  suspicion:  even  the 
Queen,  it  is  said,  had  temporarily  fallen  in  love  with 
another  guardsman  named  Mallo,  and  all  presaged 
the  early  fall  of  the  favourite. 

Another     personality,    moreover,     was     gradually 
gathering  ro\md    it    those   who    for    various    reasons 


were  dissatisfied  with  the  present  order  of  things. 
Godoy  had  some  time  previously  recommended  to 
the  King  as  tutor  to  the  Prince  of  Asturias,  the 
heir  to  the  crown,  a  certain  Juan  de  Escoiquiz,  a 
Canon  of  Zaragoza,  a  man  of  some  small  literary 
attainment,  who  behind  a  mask  of  sanctity  concealed 
immense  cunning  and  unlimited  ambition.  He  lost 
no  opportunity  of  placing  conspicuously  before  his 
pupil  every  fact  which  could  tell  against  Godoy,  and 
very  soon  established  a  complete  dominion  over  the 
mind  of  the  youth.  Round  the  young  prince  the 
clever  tutor  managed  to  gather  all  the  enemies  of  the 
favourite,  and  even  ventured  to  attack  Godoy  to  the 
King  himself  under  the  veil  of  a  discourse  which  he 
presented  to  Charles.  But  this  was  too  much,  and  he 
was  suddenly  dismissed  from  Court  and  sent  to  Toledo, 
where  he  carried  on  still  an  active  clandestine  corre- 
spondence with  his  former  pupil  and  the  leaders  of 
the  popular  party  against  Godoy.  All  these  instru- 
mentalities at  length  succeeded  in  bringing  about  the 
downfall  of  the  minister.  He  artfully  tried  to  parry 
the  blow  by  bringing  into  his  ministry,  just  before  his 
own  dismissal,  the  illustrious  literary  genius,  Caspar 
Melchior  de  Jovellanos,  and  the  almost  as  talented 
Francisco  Saa^cdra;  but  to  no  purpose,  and  on  the 
29th  of  March,  1798,  Madrid  went  mad  with  joy  at  the 
news  that  the  Choricero  was  no  longer  a  minister. 

The  decree  relieving  him  from  the  Secretaryship  of 
State  and  the  command  of  the  Guards  is  couched  in 
the  most  flattering  terms.  It  was  only,  it  says,  at 
Godoy 's  repeated  requests  that  the  King  had  con- 
sented to  part  with  him,  but  he  was  "  still  to  enjoy  all 


his  honours,  pay,  emoluments,  and  privileges,"  and  the 
King  emphatically  expresses  his  gratitude  and  satis- 
faction with  him.  Godoy,  indeed,  says  that  only  by 
great  pressure  could  he  obtain  his  dismissal,  which  at 
last  Charles  gave  with  tears  in  his  eyes.  But  the 
gossips — and  some  people  of  far  more  importance — 
told  a  different  tale.  Charles's  mind  they  said  had  been 
so  influenced  that  he  at  first  signed  a  furious  decree 
of  proscription  against  Godoy  and  even  thought  of 
putting  him  to  death,  from  which  he  was  only  dis- 
suaded by  Jovellanos  and  Saavedra  for  reasons  of 
State.  If  such  was  the  case  the  mood  did  not  last 
long,  for  though  Godoy  was  nominally  dismissed  he 
hardly  ceased  for  a  month  to  exercise  the  same  power 
as  ever  over  the  King  and  Queen,  although  the 
ministers,  Jovellanos  and  Saavedra,  bore  the  responsi- 
bility, and  bitterly  resented  the  illegitimate  interference 
of  the  favourite.  Matters  soon  became  too  irksome 
for  Jovellanos  to  bear.  Both  he  and  Saavedra  fell  ill 
of  a  mysterious  malady  attributed  to  poison,  and  the 
great  writer  with  delight  turned  his  back  upon  the 
corrupt  Court  and  resumed  his  duties  in  far-away 
Asturias  (August,  1798),  Saavedra  remaining  Prime 
Minister,  with  Don  Luis  de  Urquijo  as  Secretary  of 
State,  and  Cayetano  Soler  in  the  Ministry  of  Finance, 
whilst  Don  Jose  Caballero  replaced  Jovellanos  in  the 
Ministry  of  Justice. 

Saavedra,  warned  by  the  fall  of  Godoy,  and 
determined  not  to  incur  the  anger  of  the  French 
Government,  at  once  became  the  obsequious  servant 
of  the  Directory  and  its  representative  Truguet. 
The    emigres    were    rigidly    expelled     from     Spain 


without  exception,  the  introduction  and  sale  ot 
English  merchandise  were  prohibited  under  crush- 
ing penalties,  and  even  the  priests  were  sternly 
warned  that  they  must  avoid  any  expression  offen- 
sive to  the  susceptibilities  of  the  neighbouring 
Republic  which  had  persecuted  the  Christian  faith 
and  martyred  its  ministers.  Base  and  undignified 
compliance  could  go  no  further  than  the  address  of 
Azara,  the  new  Francophil  Spanish  ambassador  to 
the  Directory  (May,  1798),  assuring  them  that:  "The 
changes  which  have  occurred  in  your  government, 
instead  of  weakening  the  ties  which  bind  my  master 
to  you,  only  render  them  stronger  than  ever."  This 
was  from  the  pre-eminently  Catholic  king  who  had 
jeopardised  his  own  country  to  save  the  life,  if  not 
the  crown,  of  his  French  kinsman !  Spain  was 
humble  enough  now  for  Napoleon  to  be  certain  that 
he  need  fear  no  opposition  from  her  to  his  vast 
project  of  making  the  Mediterranean  a  French  lake, 
and  Egypt  the  high-road  to  a  French  empire  of 

Early  in  June  the  island  of  Malta  surrendered 
to  the  conqueror  without  a  blow,  and  on  the  1st 
of  July  Bonaparte's  great  expedition  sighted 
Alexandria.  How  Egypt  was  conquered  and  over- 
run this  is  not  the  place  to  tell,  but  in  the  midst 
of  the  triumph  came  the  fell  news  of  the  Battle 
of  the  Nile  (August  i,  1798).  Nelson  had  just 
missed  Bonaparte  at  Malta,  but  crushed  his  fleet 
in  Aboukir  Bay  and  caught  him  in  a  trap.  The 
Spanish  Bourbon  King  of  Naples  immediately 
threw  off  the  French  tutelage  that  galled    him  and 


opened  his  ports  gladly  to  Nelson  and  his  fleet ; 
Russia  and  Turkey  joined  England  against  France  ; 
Austria  more  slowly  came  round  to  Pitt's  suggestion 
of  a  universal  league  against  the  turbulent  disturbers 
of  Europe,  and  adhered  in  March,  1799.  Portugal, 
too,  now  governed  by  the  Prince  of  Brazil,  who  had 
married  a  daughter  of  Charles  IV.,  openly  braved 
France  and  added  its  squadron  to  the  English 
fleet.  This  was  a  fresh  blow  to  the  Spaniards,  who 
had  struggled  hard  and  long  to  bring  about  a 
reconciliation  between  Portugal  and  the  Directory, 
and  sometimes  had  seemed  on  the  verge  of  success, 
but  English  influence  and  money  had  always  in 
the  end  prevailed  ;  and  now  Spain,  exhausted  and 
poor  as  she  was,  saw  herself  bound  in  unnatural 
union  with  the  Republic  during  its  great  struggle 
against  all  Europe.  Naples,  Portugal,  and  the  Bour- 
bons everywhere  were  on  the  side  of  the  monarchies 
against  an  infidel,  anarchical,  unpopular,  and  dis- 
credited government.  Charles  IV.,  almost  alone  by 
his  ignoble  compliance  and  his  silly  ineptitude,  found 
himself  on  the  wrong  side.  He  tried  desperately  to 
bring  about  peace,  and  in  every  capital  in  Europe 
Spanish  ambassadors  pleaded  for  an  arrangement, 
but  without  effect.  Beaten  by  the  French  troops, 
Ferdinand  of  Naples  took  refuge  on  Nelson's  ships 
(January,  1799),  and  the  Spanish  King  had  the 
baseness  to  supplicate  the  conquerors  to  give  his 
brother's  crown  to  one  of  his  own  sons,  in  order  that 
he  might  hold  it  as  the  humble  servant  of  the  French 
Republic.  The  more  cringing  became  Charles  IV., 
the  more  exacting  became  the  Directory.      In  vain 

40  CHARLES   IV.   AND    GODOY. 

the  allied  Powers  offered  the  Spanish  king  ships  and 
men  to  enable  him  to  shake  off  the  yoke,  in  vain 
Russia  threatened  him  with  war  if  he  did  not  (July, 
1799).  Charles,  blind  to  the  interests  of  his  country 
and  his  order,  clung  with  increasing  servility  to  those 
whose  very  existence  was  a  negation  of  the  right  of 
kings  to  rule. 

The  explanation  of  the  extraordinary  infatuation 
of  Charles  IV.  can  only  be  found  in  his  continued 
belief,  at  the  prompting  of  Godoy,  in  the  possibility 
of  the  French  adopting  himself  or  his  son  as  their 
king.  The  Directory  itself  was  tottering  to  its  fall, 
for  the  fresh  reverses  sustained  by  the  French  in 
Italy  and  on  the  Rhine  had  completed  its  unpopu- 
larity :  intrigue  and  unrest  were  rife  in  Paris,  the 
frontiers  of  France  itself  were  threatened,  and  when 
three  members  of  the  Directory  resigned  (June, 
1799),  it  looked  for  a  moment  as  if  the  dream  of 
Charles  IV.  might  possibly  come  true.  But  the 
arrival  of  Bonaparte  in  Paris  in  October,  1799,  soon 
put  an  end  to  such  idle  visions.  The  "  man  and  the 
sword  "  were  both  there  at  the  psychological  moment 
when  all  around  them  institutions  were  crumbling. 
"  Vive  Bonaparte  ! "  greeted  him  on  all  sides,  and  the 
coup  d'etat  of  18  Brumaire  (November  10)  decided 
the  matter.  The  Legislature  was  expelled  at  the 
point  of  the  bayonet,  the  prating  doctrinaires  and 
corrupt  politicians  gave  way  to  the  stern  soldier,  and 
by  the  end  of  the  year  1799  Napoleon  was  installed 
as  first  Consul  in  the  Tuilleries,  a  more  absolute 
despot  than  any  Louis  of  them  all. 

To    this    pass    had    the    servile    pusillanimity    of 


Charles  IV.  brought  Spain  in  eleven  years.  Tied 
to  the  triumphal  car  of  victorious  anarchy  and 
atheism,  the  proudest  and  most  Catholic  monarchy 
in  Europe  had  sacrificed  its  own  interests  more 
absolutely  than  it  had  done  in  the  darkest  days 
of  its  history  to  the  imperious  ambition  of  Louis 
XIV.,  with  the  result  that  the  sole  reward  for  its 
baseness  was  to  find  itself  obliged  to  look  for  sup- 
port and  friendship  alone  to  a  usurping  despot,  to 
whom  all  crowns  and  all  men  were  merely  pawns 
in  the  play  of  his  own  unbounded  ambition.  From 
the  actions  of  Charles  IV.  in  the  first  twelve  years  of 
his  reign  the  subsequent  disasters  that  fell  upon  his 
unhappy  country  m  a  great  measure  sprang. 



SPAIN     AND     NAPOLEON — "  CLAY     IN     THE     HANDS 
OP^    THE    POTTER." 

In  the  preceding  chapter  we  have  sketched  the 
pohtical  position  of  Spain  in  the  last  years  of  the 
eighteenth  century :  we  will  now  briefly  glance  at  the 
material,  moral,  and  financial  condition  of  the  nation 
at  the  same  period. 

From  a  great  variety  of  causes,  which  need  not 
here  be  set  forth,  the  population  of  Spain  had 
steadily  declined  from  the  time  of  the  Goths,  when 
it  was  very  numerous,  down  to  the  first  quarter  of 
the  eighteenth  century.  The  emigration  to  America, 
the  constant  foreign  wars,  the  crushing  of  industry 
and  agriculture  by  unwise  taxation,  the  expulsion  of 
the  Jews  and  Moriscos,  and  the  consequent  absence 
of  food  for  a  large  population,  had  reduced  the 
inhabitants  of  Spain  at  the  opening  of  the  eighteenth 
century  to  eight  millions.  The  long  War  of  Succes- 
sion had,  by  the  year  171 5,  further  brought  down 
the  numbers  to  six  millions,  the  lowest  point  ever 
reached.      The    efforts    of    the    Bourboif  kings    and 

their  reforming   ministers  to  lighten  the  pressure  of 



taxation,  and  to  re-establish  Spanish  industry  and 
commerce,  however,  soon  produced  effect,  and  in 
1768  the  population  had  increased  to  9,307,000,  and 
again  on  the  accession  of  Charles  IV.,  1788,  to 
10,143,000,  whilst  the  inhabited  villages  and  parishes 
had  risen  in  number  from  34,530  in  1768  to  39,300 
in  1788.  This  improvement  had  been  largely  owing 
to  the  promotion  of  industry  by  th€'  Government,  the 
continued  discouragement  of  the  flocking  of  idlers 
into  the  Church  and  religious  houses,  the  severe  laws 
against  vagrancy.  The  food  of  the  people  had  been 
cheapened  by  the  facilitation  of  transport,  by  the 
opening  of  roads  and  by  the  abolition  of  local  tolls 
and  duties  on  merchandise  in  transit,  and,  above  all, 
by  the  enactment  of  free  trade  in  grain,  the  forbid- 
ding of  speculative  forestalling  of  breadstufifs,  and  the 
establishment  of  five  thousand  public  granaries  to 
supplement  supply  in  times  of  scarcity  (1789). 

The  persistent  attempts  of  the  reformers  to  check 
some  of  the  crying  abuses  with  which  the  Church 
afflicted  Spain  had  in  the  same  period  reduced  very 
considerably  the  number  of  unproductive  ecclesias- 
tics, who  for  centuries  had  been  absorbing  much  of 
the  national  riches  and  giving  nothing  in  return. 

In  1768  there  had  been —  In  1788 — 

Secular  Clergy 66,687  60,240 

Monks     ...         ...         ...         ...  56,457  ....;.     49,270 

Nuns  and  Friars 27,665  22,337 

Assistant  Ministers        25,248  I5;875 

Total 176,057     147,722 

The   decrease,   therefore,  of  unproductive   and    un- 
fruitful persons  under  this  head  alone  in  the  twenty 


years  (1768  to  1788)  was  no  less  than  28,335.  The 
process  continued  uninterruptedly  under  Florida- 
blanca  and  Godoy,  until  the  whole  population  reached 
1 2,000,000  in  the  first  year  of  the  present  century. 

But  great  as  had  been  the  improvement  in  this 
respect  it  had  only  been  attained  by  the  cease- 
less efforts  of  enlightened  ministers  to  force  upon 
an  unwilling  people  measures  which  ran  counter 
to  their  traditions  and  prejudices.  The  Spanish 
nation  had  two  centuries  before  been  forced  into 
sloth,  and  it  had  grown  to  like  it,  so  that  the  task 
of  the  reformers  was  a  hard  one.  Mendicants  and 
vagrants,  airing  their  deformities  and  crying  for  alms 
in  the  name  of  the  Virgin,  still  found  their  profession 
profitable,  for  the  people  sympathised  with  them  if 
the  law  did  not.  Tradition  was  still  strong  against  the 
hard,  patient  toil  of  the  husbandman,  and  the  fear 
of  the  rapacious  tax-collector  still  survived.  Hardly 
a  hamlet  in  Spain  lacked  its  church  or  monastery 
school,  where  the  peasants'  sons  could  learn  the 
scraps  of  Latin  which  made  them  scorn  the  spade 
and  sickle,  and  crowd  into  the  lazy  ranks  of  the 
Churchmen  or  the  formidable  army  of  "  preten- 
dientes,"  seekers  after  Government  offices,  who  are 
still  the  bane  of  the  country.  The  seventeen  uni- 
versities of  Spain  opened  their  doors  wide  to  the 
poorest  class  of  students,  90  per  cent,  of  whom 
adopted  study  simply  as  a  mask  for  idleness  and 
mendicancy ;  living  on  the  doles  of  food  at  the 
monastery  gates — for  which  purpose  they  carried 
in  their  hat-brims  the  traditional  wooden  spoon — 
begging  at  the  street  corners  on   the  pretence  of  a 


need  to  buy  books,  or  earning,  by  occasional  menial 
service  in  private  families,  enough  to  eke  out  their 
profits  from  begging.  The  number  of  persons 
claiming  nobility,  too,  although  they  had  decreased 
by  one-third  in  twenty  years  (1768- 1788),  reached 
the  enormous  total  of  over  470,000  at  the  end  of  the 
period,  and  most  of  these  lived  idly  or  unproduc- 
tively.  It  had  always  been  a  feature  of  Spanish  life 
that  persons  of  all  ranks  above  the  lowest  were 
surrounded  by  a  disproportionate  number  of  more  or 
less  dependent  domestics,  and  it  was  calculated  that 
at  the  end  of  the  period  under  review  at  least 
276,000  of  such  relatively  unproductive  persons 
existed  in  Spain.  It  will  thus  be  seen  that,  hard 
as  the  reforming  governments  had  striven,  they  had 
not  at  the  opening  of  this  century  penetrated  very 
deeply  into  the  inert  mass  of  national  tradition. 

It  may  be  interesting  to  notice  a  iew  of  the 
measures  by  which  even  partial  improvement  in  the 
condition  of  the  people  had  been  brought  about. 
The  alcabalas,  or  taxes  of  14  per  cent,  upon  all 
merchandise  every  time  it  changed  hands,  which 
had  killed  Spanish  industry,  had  already  been  largely 
commuted  for  fixed  local  quotas,  but  were  still 
grievously  oppressive.  They  were  now  abolished 
altogether  upon  sales  at  first  hand,  and  very  greatly 
reduced  upon  subsequent  sales,  and  the  taxes  on  the 
principal  articles  of  food  (the  millions)  were  also 
lightened,  and  the  incidence  was  equalised  by  the 
imposition  of  a  5  per  cent,  income-tax  on  rents  and 
revenues  from  land,  and  2  or  3  per  cent,  on  the  rent 
of  the  holdings  to  be  paid  by  tenants.     The  splendid 


system  of  high-roads  inaugurated  by  Charles  II L  had 
been  nearly  completed  by  the  end  of  the  century,  and 
for  the  first  time  travel  in  Spain  became  easy  and  safe. 
Inns  were  established  on  the  principal  highways 
under  Government  subvention,  and  on  the  initiative 
of  Floridablanca  regular  stage-coaches  were  started  at 
the  risk  of  the  Government  in  1789  on  the  various 
main  routes,  and  a  post  service  organised  from 
Madrid  to  Bayonne  twice  a  week.  The  coach  with 
six  passengers  occupied,  it  is.  true,  a  period  of  six  or 
seven  days  on  the  journey  from  the  capital  to  the 
French  frontier ;  but  even  this  was  an  immense 
advance  upon  the  adventurous  journey  on  muleback 
which  had  up  to  that  time  been  the  only  mode  of 
travel  or  communication  by  land  with  the  rest  of 

The  further  to  encourage  industry  a  great  number 
of  skilled  foreign  artisans  were  introduced  and  estab- 
lished in  factories  under  Government  subvention, 
each  master  being  bound  to  take  and  teach  a 
number  of  Spanish  apprentices ;  the  tyrannical  con- 
trol of  the  ancient  trade  guilds  {gremios)  over  their 
respective  crafts  was  limited,  whilst  bounties  were 
given  to  Spanish  shipbuilders ;  timber,  hemp,  and 
other  materials  for  the  industry  were  allowed  to  be 
introduced  free  of  duty,  and  export  duties  on  Spanish 
merchandise  were  abrogated.  The  antiquated  and 
oppressive  privileges  of  the  Mesta  were  curtailed 
and  subsequently  abolished,  and  the  vast  tracts  of 
common    pasturage    turned    to    more    civilised    use.' 

'  This  peculiarly  Spanish  institution,  which  had  existed  for  ages,  con- 
sisted   of    a   powerful    chartered    association    of    graziers,    who    were 




K       15 



The  breeding  of  horses,  too,  which  had  formerly  been 
so  profitable  to  Spain,  was  revived  by  the '  exemption 
of  the  owners  of  a  certain  number  of  brood  mares 
(twenty)  from  taxation,  from  the  billeting  of  troops, 
and  from  compulsory  military  service.  Mining 
industry  was  promoted  by  the  renunciation  of  the 
Crown  of  its  claims  to  all  minerals,  which  were  in 
future  to  be  the  property  of  the  discoverer.  All 
these  measures,  and  many  others  of  a  similar 
tendency,  initiated  by  the  reforming  ministers  of 
Charles  III.,  were  zealously  carried  forward  by 
Godoy,  who,  unpopular  though  he  was,  and  unequal 
to  his  position,  honestly  did  his  best  to  civilise  and 
raise  his  fellow-countrymen ;  and  was,  during  the 
whole  of  his  career,  a  generous  patron  of  art,  science, 
literature,  and  learning. 

The  disastrous  series  of  wars  into  which  the  inep- 
titude of  Charles  IV.  and  Godoy  dragged  Spain 
naturally  checked  the  progress  of  reform,  and  the 
m.aterial  and  financial  improvement  resulting  there- 
from. In  the  last  year  of  Floridablanca's  ministry 
(1791)  the  total  revenue  raised  in  the  Peninsula  had 
reached  800,488,687  reals  (96  to  the  £  sterling),  or 
^"8,327,690,  whilst  the  expenditure  was  ^^7,629,349,  of 
which  the  disproportionate  amount  of  ^500,000  was 
spent  on  the  royal  family  and  household.  For 
reasons  which  have  been  already  set  forth  the  receipts 

allowed  to  lead  immense  flocks  of  Merino  sheep,  for  the  wool  of 
which  Spain  had  been  so  famous,  from  one  part  of  the  country  to 
another  twice  a  year  ;  feeding  them  on  common  lands  reserved  for  the 
purpose.  Certain  provinces  in  Estremadura  and  I^eon,  especially, 
were  practically  monopolised  by  these  great  wandering  flocks,  and  this 
doomed  to  infertility  immense  areas  of  fine  land. 


had  fallen  on  the  accession  of  Godoy,  and  the  war 
expenditure  had  risen  ;  so  that  in  the  year  1793  the 
receipts  were  only  602,600,000  reals ;  in  1794, 
584,162,000  reals  ;  in  1795,607,280,000  reals;  whilst 
the  expenditure  had  gone  up  enormously,  being  in 
1793,  708,800,000  reals;  in  1794,  946,481,000  reals; 
in  1795,  1,030,000,000  reals.'  This,  of  course,  meant 
the  increase  of  taxation  and  a  return  to  the  oppres- 
sive means  of  raising  it.  A  special  tax  was  placed 
upon  ecclesiastical  and  land  revenues  ;  and  public  trust 
funds,  charitable  and  religious  endowments,  chancery 
deposits  and  the  like,  were  forcibly  taken  by  the 
Government  on  loan  at  3  per  cent,  as  well  as  large 
sums  being  raised  by  the  creation  of  fresh  treasury 
bonds.  The  bulk  of  the  war  taxation,  as  will  be  seen, 
fell  at  first  upon  the  Church  and  landed  classes,  and 
Godoy's  unpopularity  with  them  was  the  natural 

But  when  these  classes  had  been  drained  well-nigh 
dr}^,  and  the  borrowing  power  of  Spain  at  home  and 
abroad  had  shown  signs  of  exhaustion,  the  ever- 
growing demands  for  warlike  expenditure  had  to  be 
met  by  fresh  taxation  on  trade  and  on  prime  articles 
of  necessity,  and    the    poorer   classes    then    felt   the 

'  The  revenue  from  the  Colonies  at  the  same  period  was  about 
27,000,000  dollars,  two-thirds  of  which  were  absorbed  by  expenses, 
and  about  9,000,000  entered  the  Spanish  treasury.  An  extraordinary 
increase  in  the  prosperity  of  the  Colonies  had  followed  the  edict  of  free 
trade  in  1778.  In  Mexico  alone  the  revenues  for  the  three  years  pre- 
ceding the  grant  of  open  trade  were  131,000,000  dollars,  and  for  the 
three  years  following  232,000,000  dollars,  whilst  the  total  amount 
of  precious  metals  raised  from  the  American  mines  rose  from  14,000.000 
of  dollars  in  1775  to  an  average  of  22,000,000  a  year  at  the  end  of  the 



pinch.  Continuity  of  fiscal  sj/stem  was  lost.  Ex- 
periments of  all  sorts  were  resorted  to,  and  the  plan 
of  every  empiric  to  raise  money  was  tried ;  partial  free 
trade,  partial  protection,  monopolies  in  one  direction, 
liberty  in  another  ; '  until  at  the  end  of  the  century 
the  finances  of  the  country  were  in  complete  con- 
fusion, a  huge  annual  deficit  was  established,^  public 
confidence  in  the  stability  of  the  Government  was 
destroyed,  and  Spain  had  already  entered  the  down- 
hill path  which  led  her  from  the  consistent  system 
inaugurated  by  Charles  III.,  and  ended  in  chronic 
national  bankruptcy. 

Equally  well  intentioned,  but  much  more  successful, 
had  been  the  efforts  to  improve  the  moral  condition 
of  the  Spanish  people.  The  limitation  of  the  cramp- 
ing power  of  the  Church  and  Inquisition  upon 
science  and  learning  from  abroad,  and  the  patronage 
of  the  successive  Bourbon  kings,  had  brought  Spain 
intellectually  abreast  of  other  civilised  nations  by  the 
beginning  of  the  present   century.      Unfortunate  as 

'  What  continued  to  frighten  economists  was  that  Spain's  imports  of 
goods  from  foreign  countries  amounted  (in  1800)  to  ;^7, 400,000,  whilst 
her  exports  to  foreign  countries  were  only  valued  at  ;^3,ooo,ooo,  leaving 
an  annual  balance  of  ;^4,400,ooo  against  Spain.  This  was,  to  a  large 
extent,  apparently  balanced  by  the  imports  and  exports  to  the  Colonies, 
which  sent  to  the  mother  country  merchandise  and  treasure  worth 
;i^8, 400,000,  whilst  Spain  sent  thither  goods  worth  only  ;i^4,6oo,ooo, 
the  balance,  they  thought,  remaining  in  Spain.  These  figures,  however, 
were  not  very  consolatory  as  the  great  imports  from  foreign  countries 
were  mainly  manufactured  goods,  and  the  comparatively  small  exports 
to  the  Colonies  were  the  same  ;  whilst  the  exports  to  foreign  countries 
and  the  large  imports  from  the  Colonies  represented  mainly  natural 
produce  and  silver. 

^  The  deficit  for  the  last  four  years  of  the  century  reached  twelve  and 
a  half  millions  sterling. 


may  have  been  Godoy's  political  influence  it  would 
be  idle  to  deny  that  he  was  one  of  the  best  friends 
that  Spanish  enlightenment  ever  had.  He  introduced 
new  methods  and  new  books  into  the  schools,  he 
liberated  learning  from  the  old  blighting  methods  of 
the  priests,  and  in  every  part  of  Spain  promoted  the 
establishment  of  institutes  and  societies  for  the  spread 
of  knowledge,  and  its  emancipation  from  priestly 
trammels.'  Schools  of  science,  of  handicrafts,  of  arts, 
received,  under  the  rule  of  Charles  IV.,  assistance 
and  countenance  such  as  in  Spain  had  never  been 
dreamed  of  before  ;  and  by  the  period  of  which  we 
write  (1800)  Madrid  and  the  principal  centres  of 
population  could  in  most  of  the  arts  and  industries 
hold  their  own  with  the  other  cities  of  Europe. 

There  had  never  been  any  lack  of  bright  geniuses 
in  Spain,  even  in  its  hour  of  deepest  darkness,  but 
now  with  learning  smiled  upon  in  high  quarters  and 
the  printing-press  at  least  partially  free,  literature  and 
art  took  a  wider  field  of  development.  Great  artists 
like  Goya,  poets  like  Moratin  and  Melendez-Valdes, 
political  economists  like  Sempere,  and  the  universal 
literary  genius  Jove-Llanos,  humorists  like  Father 
Isla  and  Iglesias,  men  of  learning  and  letters  like 
Capmany,  Vargas  -  Ponce,  Count  Campomanes, 
Munoz,  Llorente,  and  a  host  of  others  presented  an 
intellectual  movement  as  brilliant  as  that  offered  by 
any  other  nation  in  the  world  at  the  same  time.  In 
its  social  aspects,  also,  Spain  improved  by  leaps  and 

'  One  of  the  titles  of  which  Godoy  was  most  proud  was  that  of 
Protector  of  the  Noble  Arts  of  San  Fernando,  still  an  institution  of 
importance  in  Madrid, 


bounds  during  the  reigns  of  Charles  III.  and  IV. 
The  immodesty  of  Spanish  women  and  the  filth  of 
Spanish  streets  had  been  for  over  a  century  and  a 
half  the  theme  of  every  traveller.  The  austerity  of 
the  Court  of  Charles  III.,  and  the  continued  labours 
of  his  and  his  son's  ministers,  had  made  Spanish 
society  at  least  as  outwardly  decorous  as  that  of 
London.  Vagabondage,  degenerating  into  brigand- 
age, which  the  lack  of  industry  and  the  wars  of  the 
Philips  had  made  one  of  the  most  prominent  cha- 
racteristics of  Spain,  had  been  sternly  suppressed, 
and  an  efficient  urban  and  rural  police  enforced  the 
supremacy  of  the  law. 

It  will  thus  be  seen  that  the  renascence  of  Spain, 
which  had  proceeded  almost  uninterruptedly  since  the 
end  of  the  long  War  of  Succession,  only  required  con- 
tinued peace  to  ensure  for  the  nation  a  flourishing  and 
cultured  future.  The  wrong  turning  was  taken  when 
the  weakness,  vacillation,  and  servility  of  Charles  IV. 
and  his  ministers  towards  the  French  Revolution 
inevitably  led  the  country  into  a  series  of  wars  in 
which  it  had  everything  to  lose  and  no  chance  of 
gain,  whilst  convincing  the  unscrupulous  Napoleon 
that  he  had  nothing  to  fear  from  the  dignity  or  firm- 
ness of  either  the  King  of  Spain  or  his  favourite. 

The  re-establishment  of  stable  government  in 
France  under  the  Consulate,  and  the  efforts  of 
Napoleon  aided  by  the  Spaniards  to  divide  the 
coalition  against  him.  had  left  England  and  Austria 
the  only  open  enemies  in  arms  which  he  had  to  face. 
This  is  not  the  place  to  describe  in  detail  the  First 
Consul's  splendid  dash  across  the  Alps,  the  triumphant 


campaign  in  Lombardy,  and  the  famous  convention 
by  which  the  Austrian  general  agreed  to  retire  beyond 
the  Mincio,  leaving  the  French  once  more  masters  of 
North  Italy.  Spain  was  more  interested  in  the  naval 
struggle  against  England.  Charles  IV.  had  continued 
timidly  to  comply  with  the  behests  of  his  allies  to  aid 
them  with  ships  in  the  Mediterranean,  where  the 
English  fleet  blockaded  Malta  and  practically  held 
the  sea.  But  it  was  clear  now  to  the  Spaniards  that 
open  war  with  England  in  the  Mediterranean  whilst 
the  coasts  of  Spain  were  at  the  mercy  of  the  pre- 
dominant naval  power  meant  ruin.  Yellow  fever  was 
decimating  Andalusia,  the  arsenals  were  unprovided, 
the  ships  undermanned,  and  the  treasury  well-nigh 
empty  ;  and  such  aid  as  Spain  could  give  to  France 
was  painfully  extorted  by  her  hard  taskmaster.  The 
two  main  points,  therefore,  towards  which  Napoleon's 
consummate  diplomacy  was  directed  were,  first  to 
isolate  England,  and  second  to  bind  Spain  more 
firmly  than  ever  to  France.  Russia  was  conciliated 
by  the  nominal  cession  of  Malta  to  Paul  I.  as  Grand- 
Master  of  St.  John,  the  northern  Powers  were  irritated 
by  representations  of  the  maritime  encroachments  of 
Great  Britain  ;  and  Austria  was  alternately  terrorised 
and  cajoled. 

In  the  meanwhile  the  Peace  Conference  of  Lune- 
ville,  in  which  all  the  Powers  were  represented, 
was  sitting ;  and  the  consequent  armistice  enabled 
Napoleon  to  carry  on  his  great  intrigue  successfully 
in  every  Court  in  Europe,  until  England  stood  alone 
(February,  1801).  To  chain  misled  Spain  the  tighter 
was  a  much  easier  task.     Grand  presents  and  loving 


letters  were  sent  to  Charles  IV.,  Maria  Luisa,  and 
Godoy.  Berthier  went  as  ambassador  with  full  powers 
to  settle  the  question  of  Parma,  which  lay  so  near  the 
Spanish  Queen's  heart.  Charles  IV.  was  fooled  to 
the  top  of  his  bent,  for  Godoy  and  Maria  Luisa  were 
at  his  elbow.  Berthier,  ostentatious  and  grandiloquent, 
dazzled  dingy  Madrid ;  and  Urquijo,  the  Spanish 
Prime  Minister,  already  tottering  to  his  fall  under  the 
attacks  of  Rome  and  the  priesthood,  in  consequence 
of  his  efforts  to  free  the  Spanish  Church  from  the 
control  of  the  Papacy,  was  ready  to  grant  any  terms 
in  exchange  for  French  support.  The  new  treaty  of 
St.  Ildefonso  was  consequently  easily  arranged  (Oc- 
tober, 1 800),  by  which  Maria  Luisa's  brother,  the  Duke 
of  Parma,  or  his  son  was  to  be  awarded  a  slice  of 
Tuscany  with  the  title  of  King,  and  unhappy  Spain 
was  to  pay  for  it  by  the  cession  of  Louisiana  and  the 
gift  of  six  armed  ships-of-war  to  France.  To  this 
was  added  a  secret  agreement  to  the  effect  that  both 
Powers  should  continue  arming  with  the  object  of 
forcing  the  Prince  Regent  of  Portugal  to  abandon  the 
English  alliance. 

It  will  be  seen  that  Spain  gained  absolutely  nothing 
by  this  treaty  ;  the  bulk  of  her  active  fleet  was  locked 
up  with  the  French  squadron  in  Brest,  her  coasts 
were  open  to  attack,  Minorca  was  held  by  the  English, 
she  had  suffered  grievously  already  by  the  French 
connection,  and  yet  she  alone  was  called  upon  to 
make  sacrifices,  and  the  only  paltry  consideration  she 
received  was  the  cession  of  a  strip  of  recently  con- 
quered Italian  territory  to  the  Queen's  brother,  a 
foreign  prince.     It  must  not  be  concluded,  however, 


that  the  corrupt  and  foolish  action  of  the  authorities 
in  Madrid  was  accepted  smilingly  b\-  Spaniards 
generally.  On  the  contrary,  although  Godoy  was  not 
nominally  minister,  the  whole  nation  outside  of  his 
circle  of  adulators  cursed  the  Choricero  deeply,  if  not 
loudly,  for  bartering  away  the  interests  of  his  country, 
and  placing  upon  her  neck  the  yoke  of  the  hated 
gabacho.  The  Spanish  admiral,  Mazarredo,  in  com- 
mand of  the  fleet  at  Brest  went  further,  and  resolutely 
withstood  the  efforts  of  Napoleon  to  employ  the 
Spanish  ships  in  expeditions  solely  in  the  interests  of 
the  Republic.  The  first  Consul  wished  to  use  them^ 
in  the  relief  of  Malta  and  Egypt,  Mazarredo  insisted 
upon  the  prior  importance  of  re-conquering  Minorca, 
and  protecting  the  Spanish  coasts.  He  urged  the 
forcing  of  the  blockade  of  Brest,  and  a  rendezvous 
of  the  allied  fleets  at  Cadiz  ;  and  it  needed  all  the 
diplomacy  of  Napoleon  to  prevent  the  Spanish 
admiral  himself  from  breaking  away  and  taking  his 
squadron  out  of  Brest  alone  in  the  face  of  the  English. 
The  persistence  of  Mazarredo,  and  the  useless  cost  of 
maintaining  a  Spanish  fleet  locked  up  in  a  French 
port,  whilst  the  coast  of  Spain  was  being  raided, 
ended  even  in  awakening  the  minister  Urquijo  in 
Madrid,  who  gave  the  Spanish  admiral  firm  orders  to 
carry  out  his  own  plan. 

Rebellion  from  such  a  quarter  aroused  Napoleon's 
anger  and  surprise.  His  first  move  was  to  endeavour 
to  get  rid  of  Urquijo,  for  he  knew  he  could  manage 
the  Queen  and  Godoy,  and  with  this  object  he 
announced  his  intention  of  sending  his  brother 
Lucien    as    a    special   ambassador    to    Spain.      This 


was  unwelcome  news,  for  it  evidently  foreboded 
some  fresh  extortion,  and  at  Godoy's  suggestion 
Urquijo  was  prompted  to  request  Napoleon  to  refrain 
from  sending  Lucien  to  Spain.  As  Godoy  told  the 
Queen  at  the  time,  he  "  was  as  much  afraid  of  Urquijo 
as  of  the  French,"  and  he  rightly  foresaw  that  such  a 
request  to  Napoleon  would  hasten  the  minister's  fall 
rather  than  prevent  it.  Godoy  therefore  ostentatiously 
stood  aside  whilst  Urquijo  belled  the  cat.  Very  far 
from  stopping  Lucien,  the  Spanish  remonstrance 
hastened  his  coming.  Pushing  forward,  he  left  his 
suite  at  Vitoria,  and  suddenly  appeared  with  only  one 
attendant  at  the  palace  of  the  Escorial,  and  before 
many  weeks  had  passed  Urquijo,  dismissed  and  dis- 
graced, was  on  his  way  to  the  citadel  of  Pamplona, 
his  place  of  exile.^  The  coalition  of  the  Vatican  and 
the  First  Consul  had  been  too  strong  for  him  ;  and 
Godoy,  now  a  persona  grata  with  both,  was  made 
generalissimo  of  all  the  Spanish  forces,  and  more 
openly  assumed  the  reins  of  political  power,  behind 
the   transparent    mask    of    his    cousin,    Don    Pedro 

'  The  fall  of  the  reforming  anti-clerical  Urquijo  left  his  colleague, 
Caballero,  the  Minister  of  Justice,  still  at  the  King's  ear.  This  man  was 
a  violent  clerical  friend  of  the  Inquisition,  a  reactionary  who  opposed 
and  thwarted  all  progress  and  enlightenment.  Godoy  and  the  new 
minister,  Cevallos,  did  their  best  to  temper  his  zeal,  as  Urquijo  had 
done,  but  even  Godoy  could  never  persuade  Charles  IV.  to  dismiss  him. 
Godi)y  confesses  that  he  did  not  understand  the  reason  of  this  infatua- 
tion of  the  King  for  Caballero.  To  those  .who  have  studied  the  old 
history  of  Spain  it  will  be  no  more  mysterious  than  the  rise  of  Godoy 
himself.  It  was  the  kernel  of  the  politleg.1  system  of  Charles  V.  and 
Philip  II.  to  have  for  Prime  Minister  a  man  of  the  sovereign's  own 
making,  and  to  give  him  colleagues  of  v.iolently^antagonistic  opinions ; 
so  that  the  sovereign  might  always  hold  the-brflance. 


Cevallos.  The  loyal  Spanish  admiral  Mazarredo  was 
dismissed  to  soothe  the  angry  Napoleon,  and  the 
subordination  of  Spanish  interests  to  those  of  France 
was  complete. 

With  the  peace  of  Luneville  the  second  coalition  oi 
the  Powers  came  to  an  end.  The  arms  and  diplomacy 
of  Napoleon  had  conquered,  and  England  stood  alone, 
her  only  friend,  Austria,  crushed  by  the  armies  of  the 
Consulate  ;  and  Russia,  Prussia,  Sweden,  and  Den- 
mark making  common  cause  with  France  and  its 
satellite  Spain  to  crush  the  naval  power  they  all 
dreaded.  The  First  Consul  had  by  this  time  fully 
taken  the  measure  of  Spanish  statesmanship,  and  the 
arrival  of  his  brother  in  Spain  coincided  with  a  further 
development  of  his  personal  plans  to  make  use  of  the 
country  for  his  own  purposes.  On  the  1 3th  of  February, 
1 80 1,  Godoy,  as  generalissimo  of  the  forces,  and 
Lucien  as  special  .ambassador,  signed  the  agreement 
of  Aranjuez,  by  which  the  Spanish  naval  forces  were 
bound  to  act  with  those  of  the  Republic  in  all  the 
operations  undertaken  by  the  latter ;  the  son  of  the 
Duke  of  Parma,  greatly  against  his  will,  was  forced  to 
accept  his  shadowy  crown  of  Etruria  from  the  hands 
of  the  Conqueror  in  Paris  ;^  and,  above  all,  Charles  IV. 
at  last  consented  (January  29,  1801)  at  the  bidding  of 
Napoleon  to  co-operate  with  the  French  army  in  the 

'  The  Bourbon  princes  of  Parma  were  entertained  lavishly  by  Xapo- 
leon  in  Paris  for  a  month,  in  order  to  impress  the  other  royal  families 
of  Europe,  but  the  Consul  made  no  secret  of  his  contempt  for  them. 
"  This  is  a  poor  King,"  he  wrote,  "it  is  impossible  to  form  an  idea  of 
his  idleness.  He  has  not  taken  a  pen  in  his  hand  since  he  has  been 
here  and  I  cannot  get  him  to  attend  to  business.  All  these  princes  are 


conquest  of  Portugal,  if  the  Prince  Regent  did  not 
within  a  fortnight  renounce  the  EngHsh  alliance. 
This  involved  the  passage,  if  necessary,  of  French 
troops  through  Spain,  and  placed  the  latter  country 
at  the  mercy  of  her  ally. 

Before  many  weeks  had  passed  a  force  of  15,000 
Frenchmen    was    on    Spanish    soil,    under    the  com- 
mand of  Leclerc,  co-operating  with  a  large  Spanish 
army    against    Portugal.      Godoy  as    generalissimo 
had  divided    his  60,000  men    into    three    corps,   one 
of    20,000    to    threaten    the    Minho    on    the    north, 
another  of   10,000   on    the  frontier  of  the  Algarves 
on    the    south,    whilst    he,    with    the    main    body    of 
30,000  troops,  set  up  his    headquarters    in    his    own 
native  Badajoz.     It  is  certain  that  Godoy's  intention 
was  to  gain  popularity  and  political  strength  by  a 
successful  campaign   against  a  weak   opponent,  and 
his    ridiculous    and    bombastic    behaviour   from    the 
commencement  of  the  campaign  showed  clearly  his 
wish  to  make  for  himself  as  much  capital  as  he  could 
out  of  it.     But  he  over-acted  the  part.     He  was  no 
hero  and  no  genius.    His  magniloquent  proclamations, 
theatrical  displays  and  exaggerated  dispatches  made 
of  this  "  war  of  the  oranges  "  a  standing  joke,  and  the 
Choricero  an  object  of  derision,  as  he  had  long  been  an 
object  of  dislike,  to  his  countrymen. 

Passing  over  the  Portuguese  frontier  on  the  20th 
of  May,  1 80 1,  he  found  no  adequate  force  to  resist 
him,  and  quickly  reduced  all  the  Alemtejo,  practi- 
cally without  fighting.  Portugal  had  then  no 
alternative  but  to  accede  to  the  terms  dictated  to 
her   by  Godoy.      One   of  her   cities,  Olivenza,  was 


{After  the  painting  hy  Goya  in  the  Museo  del  Prado) 


ceded  to  Spain,  and  she  agreed  to  exclude  from  her 
ports  the  forces  of  her  late  ally,  England  ;  whilst 
France  and  Spain  were  to  guarantee  the  integrity  of 
her  territory.  The  whole  campaign  only  lasted  three 
weeks,  but  the  King  and  Queen,  and  naturally  their 
Court,  hailed  the  victorious  Prince  of  the  Peace  as  the 
saviour  of  the  country,  the  rival  of  the  great  conqueror 
of  his  time;  and  the  sovereigns  in  person  adorned  the 
festival  of  the  victor  in  Badajoz  (July),  where  they 
lodged  in  the  house  of  Godoy's  father,  and  the  famous 
branch  of  oranges  plucked  under  fire,  almost  the  only 
trophy  of  war,  was  presented  with  much  pomp  and 
circumstance  to  Maria  Luisa.  All  this  play-acting, 
well  as  it  suited  Godoy,  did  not  satisfy  Napoleon,  who 
refused  to  ratify  the  treaty  of  peace  with  Portugal, 
which  left  him  without  any  pledge  in  his  hands  to 
extort  better  terms  from  England.  Azara,  the  Spanish 
ambassador  in  Paris,  strong  Francophil  as  he  was,  had 
already  found  it  difficult  to  reconcile  his  patriotism, 
with  the  haughty  and  exacting  attitude  of  the  First 
Consul  ;  and  now  that  Godoy  in  the  full  flush  of  his 
triumph  plainly  hinted  that  the  end  of  his  compliance 
had  been  reached,  and  that  any  further  exigencies 
from  France  might  drive  Spain  into  an  alliance  with 
England,  the  wrath  of  Napoleon  knew  no  bounds. 
"  Are  the  King  and  Queen  of  Spain  tired  of  reigning," 
he  asked  Azara,  "  that  they  thus  imperil  their  throne 
by  provoking  me  ?  "  Godoy  for  the  moment  was  in 
no  humble  mood,  and  peremptorily  demanded  the  with- 
drawal of  French  troops  from  Spain.  The  answer  of 
the  First  Consul  was  to  pour  fresh  battalions  over  the 
Pyrenees,  in  defiance  of  protests  and  treaties.      At 

THE    WAR    OF   THE    ORANGES.  6 1 

length  the  diplomac}^  of  Azara,  and  the  situation  of 
Napoleon,  enabled  a  temporary  reconciliation  to  be 
effected,  but  thenceforward  the  Corsican  knew  that 
Godoy  and  his  master  must  be  humbled  still  further 
before  he  could  use  Spain  unreservedly  as  an  instru- 
ment of  his  will.  By  a  subsequent  supplementary 
treaty  he  despoiled  Portugal  of  twenty-five  millions  of 
francs  and  the  jewels  of  the  Princess  Regent,  and  by 
the  end  of  the  year  the  last  French  soldier  had 
marched  out  of  Spain. 

The  tragic  death  of  the  Emperor  Paul  and  the 
English  victory  at  Copenhagen  had  broken  up  the 
coalition  of  northern  Powers  against  England,  and 
with  the  evacuation  of  Egypt  by  the  French  troops, 
and  the  retirement  of  Pitt  from  the  Prime  Ministry 
in  England,  led  to  the  agreement  of  London  (October, 
1 80 1 ),  by  which  Great  Britain  was  to  retain  the  island 
of  Trinidad  and  the  Dutch  possessions  in  Ceylon ; 
Malta  was  to  be  restored  to  the  Knights,  and  France 
evacuated  Naples  and  the  Roman  States,  and  recog- 
nised the  Turkish  rule  in  Egypt.  The  Congress  of 
Amiens,  which  immediately  followed,  resulted  in  the 
series  of  treaties  which  for  a  short  time  gave  a  eeneral 
peace  to  exhausted  Europe.  Each  of  the  Powers 
represented  made  the  best  terms  possible  for  itself; 
only  Spain  was  sacrificed.  The  secret  agreement  of 
London  between  France  and  England  had  been 
hidden  from  her,  and  her  island  of  Trinidad  ceded 
without  reference  to  its  former  possessors.  In  vain 
Azara  protested  and  pleaded.  Spain  had  been  weak, 
the  result  of  the  "  war  of  the  oranges  "  had  offended 
Napoleon,  and  consequently  the  interests  of  Spain  had 


to  go  to  the  wall.  In  the  definite  treaty  of  Amiens 
(March  23,  1802)  Trinidad  became  an  English  island  ; 
but  Azara,  who  had  already  become  alarmed  at 
Napoleon's  treatment  of  Spain/  made  friends  with 
Lord  Cornwallis  at  Amiens,  and  established  a  possible 
community  of  interest  between  the  two  countries 
which  afterwards  bore  fruit. 

In  the  meanwhile  Napoleon's  ambitious  plans  were 
slowly  maturing.  For  their  success  it  was  necessary 
that  he  should  be  as  completely  master  of  the  Iberian 
Peninsula  as  he  was  of  France.  He  had  been  kept 
informed  of  the  action  of  the  party  in  Spain  opposed 
to  Godoy  and  the  Queen  which  had  grouped  itself 
around  the  young  Prince  of  Asturias,  Fernando,  and 
had  missed  no  opportunity  of  widening  the  breach. 
In  the  autumn  of  1801,  Charles  IV.  fell  dangerously 
ill,  and  whispers  ran  that  a  will  had  been  extorted 
from  him  leaving  Maria  Luisa  and  Godoy  regents 
until  Fernando,  then  aged  seventeen,  should  show  his 
capacity  for  ruling.  The  news  was  probably  untrue, 
but  it  flew  to  Azara  in  Paris,  who  told  Napoleon. 
"  In  a  week,"  said  the  First  Consul,  "  I  will  have  an 
army  of  50,000  men  across  the  frontier  to  support  the 
Prince  of  Asturias  against  such  usurpation  !  "  and  he 
instructed  Azara  to  write  to  that  effect  to  Fernando. 

Charles   IV.   recovered   quickly,  and   nothing   was 
done ;  but  it  was  even  thus  early  evident  that  Napoleon 

'  At  this  very  time  when  peace  was  being  arranged,  Napoleon  was 
fiercely  demanding  of  Spain  6,000  soldiers  and  the  Spanish  squadron  in 
Brest  to  reduce  the  revolted  island  of  Santo  Domingo.  The  troops 
were  refused,  but  Napoleon  threatened  that  unless  the  ships  were  con- 
ceded with  a  good  grace,  he  would  take  them  by  force,  and  the  Spanish 
squadron  accompanied  the  French  to  the  West  Indies. 


meant  to  profit  by  the  discord  he  fostered  in  the  royal 
family  of  Spain.  During  the  spring  of  1802  Lucien 
Bonaparte  took  a  step  further  towards  the  subjection 
of  Spain  to  his  brother.  In  conversation  with  Godoy, 
he  hinted  very  strongly  that  Napoleon  might  ask  for 
the  hand  of  the  Infanta,  Maria  Isabel,  a  daughter  of 
the  King,  in  marriage.  Godoy,  and  especially  Charles 
IV.,  were  aghast.  Napoleon  was  already  married  to 
Josephine,  and  though  Lucien  said  that,  "  things 
human  and  divine  might  be  dissolved  for  the  good  of 
peoples,"  the  idea  of  such  a  scandal  for  so  proud  a 
house  as  his  nearly  drove  poor  amiable  Charles  out  of 
his  mind.  No  time  was  lost,  therefore,  in  arranging  a 
double  marriage  with  the  Bourbons  of  Naples.  The 
young  Infanta,  Maria  Isabel,  was  united  to  the  heir  of 
the  Neapolitan  throne,  and  the  sister  of  the  latter, 
Princess  Maria  Antonia,  was  wedded  to  Fernando, 
Prince  of  Asturias.  Godoy  did  his  best  to  prevent, 
or  at  least  delay,  the  latter  marriage,  and  advised 
that  the  prince  should  be  sent  abroad  to  complete 
his  education  ;  but  Charles  IV.  was  obstinate  and 
alarmed,  and  determined  to  get  both  of  his  children 
married  before  Napoleon  could  interfere  with  fresh 

His  choice  of  a  bride  for  his  son  was  a  peculiarly 
unwise  one  if  he  wished  to  remain  friendly  with 
Napoleon,  for  the  new  Princess  of  Asturias  was  the 
daughter  of  that  bold,  strong  Caroline,  Queen  of 
Naples,  the  sworn  enemy  of  the  French  and  the 
friend  of  Nelson.  From  her  early  childhood — she 
was  little  more  than  a  child  still— Maria  Antonia  had 
seen  her  father's  throne  sustained  by  British  guns,  and 


had  looked  upon  the  French  as  the  foes  of  her  country 
and  her  race.  She  herself,  though  delicate  and  con- 
sumptive, had  passions  as  strong  as  those  of  her 
mother,  whose  instructions  she  carried  with  her  from 
Naples,  to  thwart,  and  if  possible  to  break,  the  alliance 
between  France  and  Spain,  and  to  bring  her  new  hus- 
band's party  to  the  side  of  England.  Godoy's  oppo- 
sition to  the  match  had  increased  her  enmity  towards 
him,  and  Queen  Maria  Luisa  and  her  favourite  soon 
found  that  the  frail  little  princess  had  a  bold  heart  and 
a  bitter  tongue  which  dared  to  say  aloud  what  others 
feared  to  whisper  in  the  privacy  of  their  chambers — 
that  the  Queen  of  Spain  was  an  abandoned  woman 
who  had  sacrificed  her  country  to  the  foreigner  and 
soiled  her  weak  husband's  throne  for  the  sake  of  an 
unworthy  lover.  Henceforth  it  was  war  to  the  knife 
between  Godoy  and  the  Queen  on  one  side,  and 
Fernando  and  his  wife  on  the  other.  The  two  wed- 
dings were  celebrated  (October,  1 802)  with  sumptuous 
official  rejoicings  at  the  Spanish  Court,  and  the  Order 
of  St.  Gennaro,  as  Azara  wrote,  was  bestowed  so 
lavishly  as  not  to  be  worth  the  price  of  an  egg  in 
Madrid,  but  the  joy  of  the  Spanish  people  was  real, 
because  they  knew  that  this  was  a  blow  to  the 
Choricero  and  the  Frenchmen  whom  they  hated 

It  may  well  be  imagined  that  these  events  did  not 
render  more  cordial  the  relations  between  Napoleon 
and  the  Spanish  Government.  The  death  of  the  old 
Duke  of  Parma,  and  the  continued  occupation  of  his 
duchy  by  the  French,  notwithstanding  the  claims  of 
his  son,  the  King  of  Etruria,  the  nephew  and  son-in-law 


of  Charles  IV.  ;  and  the  resolute  refusal  of  the  latter  to 
admit  on  any  terms  French  cotton  fabrics  into  Spain 
(November,  1802),  also  added  to  the  growing  estrange- 
ment. Clouds,  too,  were  gathering  in  other  quarters. 
In  England,  Mr.  Addington's  pacific  policy  was  un- 
popular with  all  classes.  The  London  press  was  loud 
in  its  attacks  upon  Napoleon's  interference  with  the 
interior  affairs  of  Germany  to  the  detriment  of  Austria, 
and  his  activity  in  the  West  Indies.  Malta  was  still 
held  by  English  troops  in  defiance  of  the  treaty  of 
Amiens,  and  the  French  emigres  were  more  active 
than  ever  in  their  efforts  to  undermine  the  revolution- 
ary government.  At  length  matters  came  to  a  head. 
Napoleon  violently  demanded  of  Lord  Whitworth, 
the  English  ambassador,  the  fulfilment  of  the  treaty 
of  Amiens,  with  the  alternative  of  immediate  hostili- 
ties. After  a  fruitless  attempt  to  arrange  terms 
relations  were  broken  off,  and  in  May,  1803,  England 
and  France  were  once  more  at  war. 

As  usual,  the  first  sacrifice  had  to  be  made  by 
Spanish  interests.  It  had  been  agreed  at  the  time 
of  the  cession  of  Louisiana  to  France  (October, 
1800)  that  the  latter  Power  should  never  transfer  the 
colony  to  any  other  nation  than  Spain.  Napoleon 
broke  the  treaty  of  St.  Ildefonso  and  sold  Louisiana 
to  the  United  States  for  a  sum  of  money  with 
which  to  make  war  on  England.  Protests  from 
Spain  were  useless,  for  Napoleon  meant  to  use  the 
misgoverned  country  for  his  own  ends  alone  ;  and 
his  great  plans  for  the  invasion  and  domination 
of  England  were  proceeding  apace.  With  such 
gigantic    preparations    as    these,    which    stirred    the 



imagination  of  the  world,  no  thought  of  the  interests 
of  Spain  could  be  allowed  to  interfere.  But  at  least 
this  time  the  eyes  even  of  Godoy  were  opened,  and, 
though  too  late,  he  resisted  to  the  extent  of  his  power 
the  further  encroachment  of  the  French. ^  Napoleon 
demanded  an  immediate  declaration  of  war  against 
England  in  compliance  with  the  treaty  of  St.  Ilde- 
fonso,  and  that  24,000  troops  and  the  whole  Spanish 
fleet  should  be  placed  at  his  disposal.  Godoy  in 
Madrid  and  Azara  in  Paris  struggled  hard  to  moderate 
the  demands  of  their  tyrant,  who  grew  more  haughty 
and  exacting  every  day.  A  great  subsidy  (six 
million  francs  a  month),  freedom  for  French  trade  in 
Spain,  and  indemnities  and  privileges  without  number, 
might,  he  said,  be  substituted  for  a  declaration  of  war 
against  England,  but  in  some  form  his  pound  of 
flesh  he  would  have. 

The  peace  of  Amiens  and  the  re-opening  of  com- 
merce with  England  had  brought  some  return  of 
prosperity  to  Spain,  the  people  hated  the  French 
and  longed  for  peace,  and  Godoy  dared  not  yield. 
Upon  the  favourite  fell  the  wrath  of  Napoleon. 
A  special  messenger  was  sent  to  Madrid  with  an 
ultimatum  to  the  King  in  Napoleon's  own  hand. 
Either  Godoy,  the  dishonourer  of  his  house  and  the 
corrupt  curse  of  his  kingdom,  must  be  dismissed,  or 
a  French  army  would  cross  the  Pyrenees  within 
twenty-four  hours  and  sweep  all  before  it.    But  before 

'  He  refused,  amongst  other  things,  to  urge  the  French  Bourbon 
princes  to  renounce  their  claims  to  the  crown,  and  he  also  refused  to 
suppress  the  publication  in  the  Spanish  press  of  extracts  against  France 
from  the  English  papers. 


this  was  handed  to  the  unfortunate  Charles,  the 
messenger  was  to  see  Godoy  himself  and  let  him 
know  the  fate  before  him  if  he  did  not  yield.  The 
wretched  favourite  tried  by  evasion  to  delay  the  issue, 
but  the  French  ambassador  was  immovable.  He 
would  have  no  more  references  to  Azara  in  Paris. 
The  terms  of  the  First  Consul  must  be  complied  with 
at  once,  or  the  damning  letter  would  be  handed  to 
the  King.  Godoy  and  the  Queen  were  at  their  wits' 
end.  They  had  already  authorised  Azara  to  make 
the  best  terms  possible  with  Napoleon,  but  to  go 
to  war  with  England  now  by  their  own  act  in 
Madrid  at  the  bidding  of  the  Frenchmen  seemed 
to  bode  certain  ruin  to  them.  The  course  they 
adopted  was  to  persuade  the  King  to  take  the  First 
Consul's  letter,  but  not  to  open  it.  The  simple-minded 
King  did  as  he  was  bidden.  "  I  have  received 
the  letter,"  he  said  to  the  French  ambassador, 
"  because  I  was  obliged  to  do  so,  but  1  will  return  it 
to  you  unopened.  You  will  soon  learn  that  your 
action  was  unnecessary,  as  Azara  has  full  authority  to 
settle  everything  in  Paris.  I  esteem  the  First  Consul. 
I  wish  to  be  his  faithful  all\^,  and  provide  him  with 
all  the  resources  my  realm  will  afford."  But  withal, 
Godoy,  by  authority  of  the  King,  was  forced  to  sign 
a  preliminary  agreement,  conceding  in  principle  the 
shameful  demands  of  France,  before  the  matter  could 
be  remitted  to  be  settled  in  Paris,  and  it  needed 
another  threat  of  instant  war  from  Napoleon  before 
Azara  signed  the  cruel  treaty  of  Paris  (October  9, 
1803),  by  which  poverty-stricken  Spain  purchased 
her  neutrality  for  a  subsidy  of  six  millions  of  francs 


a  month,  and  humiliating  commercial  concessions. 
It  was  not  the  fault  of  Azara,  but  it  broke  his  heart, 
and  to  the  weakness  and  unworthiness  of  Godoy  and 
the  Queen  one  more  sacrifice  was  made  by  their 
unhappy  country. 

In    May,    1804,    Napoleon   assumed    the   imperial 
dignity,  and  almost  the  first  Power  to  recognise  his 
new    rank    was    Spain.     Pitt,    now    in    ofifice   again, 
worked   incessantly  to    draw    Spain    to    the   side   of 
England,  and  to  open  the  eyes  of  Spaniards  to  the 
fact  that  their  country  was  being  used  by  an  ambitious 
tyrant  for  the  subjugation  of  Europe  to  France.     But 
Napoleon  had   his   grip   firmly  fixed    upon    Godoy ; 
and  though  Spain  was  utterly  bankrupt  and  unable 
even  to  pay  the  whole  of  the  subvention  agreed  upon 
and    the    country    at    large   hated    and    feared    the 
French,   the   feeling   of  loyalty   to   the   Crown   and 
affection   for  the  King  prevented   the  discontent   of 
the  people  from  going  beyond  murmurs  against  the 
Choricero.      The  nominal  neutrality  of  Spain  was  a 
mere  mask,  whilst  French  cruisers  were  fitting  out  in 
Spanish  ports,  and  every  penny  the   country  could 
spare  was  being  sent  to  Napoleon  for  the  invasion 
of  England.     England's   ally,   Portugal,  too,  at  any 
critical  moment  was  at  the  mercy  of  her  neighbour, 
and  Pitt  at  length  determined  to  treat  Spain  as  a 
belligerent.     Sudden  orders  were  given  that  Spanish 
ships  on  the  high  seas  were  to  be  attacked,  and  in 
October,  1804,  four  frigates  on  their  way  from  Rio  de 
la  Plata,  under  Admiral  Bustamente,  with  a  cargo  of 
six  millions  of  dollars,  were  assailed  by  Moore  with 
four  English  ships  off  Cape  St.  Mary.     One  of  the 


Spaniards,  the  Mercedes,  was  burnt  and  the  other 
three  captured  and  carried  to  England  as  a  pledge  of 
Spain's  neutrality.  The  indignation  of  the  people 
was  artfully  fanned  by  the  French  interest,  and  open 
war  between  Spain  and  England  became  inevitable 
(December,   1804). 

The  party  of  the  heir-apparent  and  his  wife  was 
in  despair.  No  country  was  ever  less  prepared  for 
war  than  Spain  at  this  juncture.  Short  crops  and 
the  manoeuvres  of  speculators  in  grain  had  raised 
food  to  famine  prices,  pestilence  swept  unchecked 
through  the  southern  provinces,  the  drain  of  resources 
for  the  French  subsidy  had  reduced  the  treasury  to 
the  utmost  penury,  the  priests  and  Churchmen 
everywhere  cursed  a  government  that  had  sold  the 
property  of  pious  foundations,  as  they  alleged,  to 
pamper  the  greed  of  a  vile  favourite  and  to  aid  an 
usurping  foreigner,  whilst  the  Court  and  royal  family 
itself  were  now  openly  divided  into  two  camps. 
But  notwithstanding  all  this,  a  new  offensive  alliance 
was  signed  in  Paris  (January  4,  1805),  by  which 
Spain  bound  herself  to  place  at  the  disposal  of  the 
Emperor  for  six  months  30  ships  of  war,  manned 
and  armed  complete,  in  the  ports  of  Cadiz,  Cartagena, 
and  Ferrol. 

Nelson  was  in  the  Mediterranean  with  1 1  ships. 
His  squadron  was  well  supplied  with  food  from 
Sicily,  Naples,  and  Sardinia ;  his  ships  and  men 
were  in  splendid  condition,  for  they  had  been  at  sea 
for  twenty  months,  and  the  watchful  eye  of  the  great 
commander  was  everywhere.  The  great  armament 
prepared   at  Boulogne  for  the  invasion   of  England 


could  do  nothing  until  the  powerful  squadrons  in 
Brest  and  Ferrol  were  released  from  the  English 
blockade  that  held  them  tight.  The  plan  of 
Napoleon  was  to  effect  a  junction  of  the  Spanish 
and  French  Mediterranean  fleets  at  Cadiz,  and  then 
by  a  sudden  feigned  dash  to  the  West  Indies  to  draw 
Nelson  on  to  the  other  side  of  the  Atlantic.  It  was 
thought  that  the  squadron  in  Brest  would  then  be 
able  to  break  through  the  blockade,  release  the  ships 
in  Ferrol,  join  the  Spanish  and  French  fleet  from  the 
West  Indies,  and  with  the  force  from  Boulogne 
successfully  invade  England,  whilst  Nelson  was  on 
his  wild-goose  chase  in  American  waters.  It  will  be 
seen  that  for  this  plan  to  be  successful  it  was 
necessary  for  several  concurrent  circumstances  to  be 
favourable;  and  experienced  sailors  were  from  the 
first  doubtful  of  the  result  of  carrying  on  naval 
operations  on  military  principles.  Villeneuve,  whom 
Napoleon  appointed  admiral-in-chief,  was  despondent 
and  distrustful  by  nature,  and  when  he  saw  the 
wretched  material  of  which  his  fleets  consisted  he 
lost  heart  entirely. 

Villeneuve  first  sailed  from  Toulon  on  the  i8th 
of  January,  but  after  a  fortnight's  knocking  about 
in  bad  weather  had  to  put  back  again,  and  lost 
seven  weeks  in  refitting  and  repairs  ;  so  that  it  was 
the  29th  of  March  before  he  could  finally  start 
to  rally  the  Spanish  fleet  in  Cadiz.  With  difficulty 
he  gave  Nelson  the  slip,  and  joined  the  Spanish 
admiral,  Gravina,  in  Cadiz  on  the  loth  of  April. 
Spain  was  supposed  to  possess  16  ships  in  the 
port,  but  after  three  months'  labour    no    more    than 


six  were  fit  for  sea.  They  were  of  imposing  bulk, 
but  all,  except  Gravina's  flagship,  Argonaut,  crazy, 
rotten,  and  antiquated.  The  plague  was  raging  in 
Cadiz,  the  country  was  bare  of  stores,  and  the  only 
crews  available  were  the  unwilling  scum  and  rascal- 
dom of  the  city  swept  into  the  net  of  the  press  gang. 
Gravina  and  his  officers  were  brave,  eager,  and  loyal 
in  doing  their  best;  but  they  all  distrusted  the  French, 
and  not  for  a  moment  did  they  deceive  themselves 
as  to  the  inferiority  of  their  ships,  guns,  and  seamen 
to  those  of  the  English.  When  finally  all  was  ready 
for  the  dash  across  the  Atlantic,  V^illeneuve  found 
himself  in  command  of  25  ships,  with  which  he  sailed 
to  Martinique.  For  a  fortnight  Nelson  battled  with 
head  winds  about  Gibraltar  (May  7th)  to  get  on 
the  track  of  his  foe,  and  it  was  the  4th  of  June 
before  he  cast  anchor  at  Barbadoes,  three  weeks  after 
Villeneuve  had  arrived  in  the  West  Indies. 

But  much  had  happened  in  that  short  time.  Corn- 
wallis  held  Brest  in  so  firm  a  grip  that  Gantheaume 
could  not  get  out ;  and,  what  was  of  more  importance 
still.  Napoleon  found  himself  once  more  confronted 
by  a  great  European  league  against  him.  "  Upon  the 
success  of  your  arrival  off  Boulogne,"  he  wrote  to 
Villeneuve,  "  the  fate  of  the  world  depends."  Alas 
for  him  !  Villeneuve  was  a  weak  reed  to  bear  such  a 
responsibility.  In  mortal  fear  of  failure,  dreading  the 
very  name  of  Nelson,  the  French  admiral  refused 
Gravina's  prayers  to  recapture  Trinidad  for  Spain,  to 
attack  Cochrane  at  Barbadoes,  to  seek  and  fight 
Nelson,  to  do  anything,  but  to  run  home  again,  as  he 
proposed  to  do  at  once,  and  endeavour  to  release 
Gantheaume  from  Brest. 


Sailing  from  Martinique  on  the  very  day  that 
Nelson  arrived  at  Barbadoes,  he  sadly  went  north, 
leaving  Nelson  to  hunt  after  him  from  island  to 
island,  in  the  vain  hope  of  getting  him  to  fight. 
On  the  19th  of  June  the  fleets  were,  unknown 
to  each  other,  close  together,  but  Villeneuve  escaped, 
and  sailed  finally  for  Europe  on  the  2rst.  His  ships, 
especially  the  Spaniards',  were  slow,  and  the  English 
Admiralty  had  early  news  of  his  return.  The 
blockade  of  Ferrol  and  Rochefort  was  raised,  and 
Calder  was  sent  with  15  ships  to  meet  and  fight 
Villeneuve,  which  he  did  in  a  dense  fog  off  Finisterre, 
on  the  22nd  of  July.  Despondent  Villeneuve,  com- 
plaining of  his  ships,  his  men,  his  allies,  the  weather, 
did  nothing,  but  left  all  the  fighting  to  gallant 
Gravina  and  the  Spanish  vanguard,  who  bore  them- 
selves like  heroes,  though  losing  two  of  their  ships 
by  capture.  When  Calder,  gallant  sailor  that  he  was, 
but  no  tactician,  thought  he  had  done  enough  and 
sailed  away  with  his  two  prizes,  Villeneuve  was  glad 
to  let  him  go,  and  hopelessly  sailed  to  Vigo  instead 
of  to  Brest  as  he  was  ordered,  whilst  Gravina  and  the 
Spaniards  chafed  at  so  low-spirited  a  commander. 
In  the  meanwhile  Nelson  had  returned  to  Gibraltar 
(July  20th),  and  thus  the  Frenchman  found  himself 
between  Calder  on  the  north  and  Nelson  on  the 
south.  He  had  rallied  the  ships  in  Ferrol  and 
had  now  29  sail.  In  vain  Napoleon  furiously  urged 
him  to  enter  the  Channel.  "  One  hundred  and  fifty 
thousand  men  and  2,000  boats  await  you,"  he 
wrote.  "All  depends  upon  you.  If  you  act  we 
shall   be   masters   of  Europe."     But   there   was    no 


action  for  despondent  Villeneuve.  He  would  take 
no  risks,  and  his  opportunity  went  by.  The  camp 
at  Boulogne  was  broken  up  and  marched  to  fight 
the  coaHtion  in  Germany,  whilst  the  allied  fleets 
tamely  returned  to  Cadiz  to  be  closely  blockaded 
there  by  an  English  squadron  of  inferior  strength 
(August  20th),  and  Nelson,  who  for  the  first  time 
for  two  years  was  free  to  run  home,  set  his  foot 
on  English  soil,  and  arranged  his  future  plan  of 

On  the  1 2th  of  October  the  English  admiral 
arrived  off  Cadiz  in  the  Victory  to  rejoin  the  English 
fleet.  The  position  of  the  allies  inside  the  port  was 
lamentable.  The  Spanish  officers  openly  insulted 
Villeneuve  and  demanded  his  dismissal  from  the 
command.  They  knew  that  with  such  a  commander 
and  with  the  material  at  their  disposal  they  would  be 
no  match  for  the  English  fleet  outside,  which  daily 
threatened  to  attack  them  even  in  port.  Napoleon 
raged  and  stormed  at  the  apparent  ineptitude  and 
timidity  of  Villeneuve.  His  great  combinations  were 
all  being  frustrated  by  the  imprisonment  of  his  fleets, 
and  at  last  in  desperation  he  called  his  admiral-in- 
chief  a  coward,  and  sent  Rosilly  to  replace  him. 
When  this  news  reached  the  miserable  Villeneuve, 
on  the  1 8th  of  October,  with  the  boldness  of  despair 
he  gave  sudden  orders  for  the  whole  fleet  to  put  to 
sea,  rally  the  Spanish  squadron  in  Cartagena,  and 
sail  to  Naples  as  the  Emperor  had  ordered. 

The  Spaniards  were  aghast  and  protested.  Ville- 
neuve in  his  turn  taunted  them  with  cowardice,  and 
thenceforward  there  was  no  question  of  holding  back, 


desperate  as  they  knew  the  case  to  be.  The  next 
day  the  alhed  squadron  left  port — 34  Hne-of-battle 
ships  and  five  or  six  smaller  craft,  Avila  commanding 
the  vanguard  of  seven  sail,  Villeneuve  the  centre 
with  a  similar  number,  Dumanoir  the  rearguard  of 
the  same  strength,  and  Gravina  the  reserve  with  12 
ships.  The  morning  was  lovely  and  bright,  with  red 
cloudlets  flecking  the  cobalt  blue  of  the  sky,  though 
the  winds  were  light  and  baffling ;  and  the  great 
Spanish  ships  looked  brave  enough  beneath  their 
gilding  and  paint.  The  Santisima  Trinidad,  the 
biggest  craft  afloat,  a  vast  four-decker  of  136  guns, 
220  feet  long,  the  Rayo,  the  Principe  de  Asturias, 
Gravina's  ship,  and  the  towering  St.  Ana,  which  led 
the  vanguard,  were  all  much  larger  than  the  heaviest 
of  the  Frenchmen,  the  Bucentaur  and  the  Formidable. 
But  though  Nelson  had  no  ships,  so  heavily  armed  as 
the  Spanish  monsters,  his  proportion  of  loo-gun 
ships  was  much  larger.'  Vi^^neuve  practically  left 
each  captain  to  act  for  /xiimself  "Nelson  will 
endeavour  to  cut  your  line  and  envelope  you,"  he 
said,  "  and  you  must  prevent  it  if  you  can.  Any 
officer  who  is  not  under  fire  will  have  deserted  his 
post."  Every  seaman  saw  that  the  great,  ancient, 
clumsy,  ill-manned  Spanish  ships  were  not  handy 
enough  to  prevent  their  being  isolated,  if  such  were 
Nelson's  tactics  ;  but  no  one  held  back  now,  for  the 
allies  had  called  each  other  cra^vens,  and  both  were 
on  their  mettle.  \ 

'  The  actual  number  of  guns  on  the  EngHsh  flfeet  was  2,148,  whilst 
the  allied  fleets  had  2,626.  The  practice  of  the  allies  was,  however, 
bad  ;  the  firing  much  too  high. 


Late  on  the  20tli  the  fleets  sighted  each  other. 
The  wind  was  still  light,  and  Villeneuve's  squadrons 
were  straggling,  so  that  it  was  far  into  the  night 
before  the  allies  could  range  into  a  single  line  of 
battle,  and  then  it  was  done  in  a  loose  and  lubberly 
fashion — "  all  of  a  heap,"  as  Dumanoir  reported 
— Gravina's  reserve  squadron,  in  spite  of  protest, 
being  included  in  the  long  line.  Two  precious  hours 
after  dawn  were  lost  before  Villeneuve  gave  orders 
for  his  fleet  to  luff  up,  and  before  the  allies 
were  well  ready  the  English  fleet  came  down  the 
wind  in  the  form  of  a  great  wedge  with  the  Victory 
leading  at  the  apex.  There  was  a  big  gap  in  the 
loose  allied  line  between  the  Bucentaur  and  the 
St.  Ana,  and  to  this  point  the  wedge  head  was 
driven,  cutting  the  line  in  two.  No  gun  was  fired 
from  the  Victory  in  reply  to  the  enemy's  cannonade 
until  she  got  through  the  rank  of  ships.  Then  she 
turned  to  port  and  thundered  into  the  Redoutable 
and  the  big  Santisinia  Trinidad.  Thus  far  Ville- 
neuve had  been  right  in  his  guess  at  Nelson's  tactics  ; 
but  what  followed  was  a  new  stroke  of  naval  eenius. 
which  no  one  had  foreseen.  The  outer  wings  of  the 
wedge  of  English  ships  curled  round,  and  each  one 
enveloped  and  isolated  a  certain  number  of  the 
enemy's  vessels.  Thenceforward  it  was  carnage^ 
slaughter.  Great  Nelson  fell  when  .  victory  was 
already  certain,  for  the  Buccntajir  and  the  Santisima 
Trinidad  hauled  down  their  flags  before  his  life 
ebbed  away.  The  Spaniards  and  the  French  fought 
as  bravely  as  the  English.  Churruca,  Alcala-Galiano, 
Alcedo,  and  Magon  fell ;  Gravina,  sorely  wounded,  died 


in  Cadiz  shortly  afterwards.  Villeneuve  subsequently 
committed  suicide,  and  the  navies  of  Spain  and  France 
were  practically  destroyed.  Of  the  squadrons  that 
left  Cadiz,  40  ships  strong,  only  18  leaking,  battered 
wrecks  struggled  back  into  port,  and  all  along  the 
bay  the  scattered  wreckage  and  a  thousand  corpses 
were  cast  up  by  the  heavy  storm  that  completed  the 
catastrophe  of  the  battle.  From  the  housetops  of 
Cadiz  the  clustered  citizens  with  horror  witnessed 
the  eclipse  for  the  second  time  of  the  naval  power  of 
Spain ;  and  the  ill-starred  subordination  of  their 
country  to  the  fortunes  of  revolutionary  France, 
which  the  weakness  of  the  King  and  Godoy  had 
made  possible,  became  more  hateful  than  ever  to  all 
Spaniards  but  those  v/ho  battened  upon  the  favour 
of  the  Choricero. 

Napoleon's  hope  of  beating  England  on  her  own 
element  had  disappeared,  but  on  land  he  marched 
from  victory  to  victory.  The  Austrian  army  sur- 
rendered to  him  at  Ulm  on  the  very  day  that  the 
allied  fleets  had  left  the  harbour  of  Cadiz,  and  less 
than  a  month  afterwards  he  entered  Vienna  in 
triumph,  soon  to  be  crowned  by  the  still  greater 
victory  of  Austerlitz  (December  2,  1805). 
•  It  has  often  been  related,  and  sometimes  questioned, 
that  when  the  almost  dying  Pitt  received  the  evil 
news  of  Austerlitz  which  made  Napoleon  master  of 
the  continent  of  Europe,  he  foretold  that  the  force 
which  would  ultimately  ruin  the  victor  would  take  its 
rise  in  Spain.  The  prophecy  has  been  looked  upon 
as  almost  superhuman,  but  lif  it  was  ever  uttered  it 
only  proves  that  Pitt  was  well  informed  of  the  public 


feeling  in  Spain  ;  and  that  as  a  matter  of  fact  an 
understanding  already  existed  between  the  anti- 
French  party  of  the  Prince  of  Asturias  and  the 
English  statesman.  It  must  have  been  plain  to  him 
that  the  breaking-point  between  the  two  allies  had 
nearly  been  reached.  The  Spanish  Bourbon  King 
of  Naples  was  being  turned  out  of  his  kingdom  to 
make  room  for  Napoleon's  brother,  Joseph ;  the 
intercepted  letters  of  the  spirited  little  Neapolitan 
Princess  of  Asturias  to  her  mother  telling  of  her  efforts 
and  those  of  her  husband  to  arouse  Spain  against 
the  French  usurper  had  been  made  the  subject  of 
acrimonious  complaint  from  Napoleon  to  poor  over- 
burdened Charles  :  the  bitter  hatred  between  Maria 
Luisa  and  her  daughter-in-law  had  brought  to  the 
side  of  the  latter  the  great  majority  of  the  Spanish 
people  who  were  groaning  under  the  misery  caused 
by  the  warfare  in  which  only  the  French  had  any- 
thing to  gain ;  and  a  man  of  less  penetration  than  Pitt 
could  see  that  the  disappearance  of  Godoy  from  the 
scene  would  coincide  with  a  revolt  of  the  Spanish 
nation  against  the  ignominy  of  being  the  mere  bonds- 
men of  Napoleon's  ambition.  Pitt,  in  fact,  knew  that 
the  adherence  of  Spain  to  the  anti-French  coalition 
would  turn  the  scale  against  Napoleon. 

Austria  at  the  peace  of  Presburg  following 
Austerlitz,  surrendered  completely ;  but  not  so 
England,  Russia,  or  Prussia.  After  the  abortive 
peace  negotiations  with  the  English  Whig  Govern- 
ment the  formation  of  a  new  coalition  against 
Napoleon,  to  which  even  Spain  might  be  rallied 
became    a    necessity.      The    fate    of    Fernando    of 


Naples  must  have  loomed  like  a  presage  of  his 
own  doom  to  Charles  IV.,  and  even  Godoy, 
enmeshed  as  he  was  in  the  toils  of  Napoleon, 
could  hardly  fail  to  see  that  Spain  must  make  a 
stand  against  the  destroyer  of  thrones  before  it 
was  too  late,  or  King,  Queen,  and  favourite  would 
be  swept  away  together ;  if  not  by  the  French,  then 
by  his  own  enraged  countrymen.  The  forces  against 
Godoy  were,  indeed,  already  ranging  themselves  for 
the  attack.  The  Princess  of  Asturias  was  indefatig- 
able; Fernando's  cunning  ex-tutor.  Canon  Escoiquiz, 
had  organised  a  regular  system  of  propaganda  against 
the  favourite  :  priests  and  friars  in  every  parish  in 
Spain  told  of  the  vast  sums  plundered  from  the 
Church  and  squandered  on  the  Choricej^o,  whWst  better 
men  were  starving.  Godoy  felt  that  he  must  change 
sides  and  brave  Napoleon,  for  the  forces  against  him 
at  home  were  too  strong  for  him  any  longer  to  with- 

The  new  coalition  against  the  Emperor  was  nearly 
complete  in  the  autumn  of  1806,  when  suddenly 
Prussia  precipitated  events  by  commencing  hostilities 
alone.  Napoleon's  great  army  was  already  on  German 
soil,  and  the  Emperor  himself  flew  to  command  it ; 
but  his  interests  now  covered  so  wide  a  territory,  the 
new  kingdoms  he  had  to  protect  were  so  dispersed 
and  numerous,  that  it  seemed  as  if  surely  he  must  be 
beaten  piecemeal.  Godoy  appears  to  have  thought 
that  this  was  the  time  for  him  to  change  his  coat ; 
but  he  did  so  with  characteristic  timidity  and  dis- 
ingenuousness.  Only  a  few  months  before  (May, 
1806)  his    agent    in    Paris,   Izquierdo,   had,  with  his 


approval,  handed  to  Napoleon  a  sum  of  twenty- 
four  million  francs  of  Spanish  public  funds  on  the 
Emperor's  hint  that  if  he  did  so  Godoy  might  hope 
for  further  advancement  at  his  hands.  When  the 
money  was  once  in  his  possession  Napoleon  naturally 
made  light  of  his  hinted  promises  of  kingdoms  and 
dukedoms  for  the  Spanish  favourite,  and  Godoy, 
indignant  and  offended,  sent  an  agent  to  London 
to  make  approaches  to  the  projected  anti-French 
coalition.  The  English  Government  was  already  in 
relations  with  the  party  of  his  enemies  in  Spain, 
and  would  have  nothing  to  do  with  him ;  but  in 
October,  when  Napoleon  was  in  arms  against  the 
Prussians,  Godoy  took  his  step  and  endeavoured  to 
foist  himself  upon  the  anti-French  party  without 
entirely  breaking  with  Napoleon.  Early  in  October 
every  town  in  Spain  was  astounded  to  read  a  public 
proclamation  signed  by  the  Prince  of  the  Peace.  It 
called  upon  all  loyal  citizens  to  aid  the  sovereign  by 
contributions  of  money,  horses,  and  armed  men,  to 
defend  the  country  "  during  the  present  danger." 
There  was  much  inflated  appeal  to  the  patriotism 
and  honour  of  Spaniards,  and  vague  references  to 
"  our  enemies  "  ;  but  no  hint  as  to  who  the  enemies 
were.  The  proclamation  reached  Napoleon  on  the 
victorious  field  of  Jena,  and  his  brow  lowered  as  he 
read  it.  "  I  will  pay  them  for  this,"  he  muttered,  and 
from  that  moment  he  determined  that  the  Bourbons 
should  be  swept  from  Spain  as  they  had  been  from 
France.'     He  might  smile  still — and  he  did  so  more 

'  See    "  De  Pradt   Meraoires    sur   la    Revolution  d'Espagne,"  and 
"  Conversations  avec  Napoleon,"  by  Escoiquiz. 


than  once — both  upon  poor  Charles  IV.  and  upon 
Godoy,  but  their  doom  was  sealed  from  that  hour 
— and  incidentally  his  own  too. 

In  vain  Godoy  endeavoured,  when  he  heard  the 
news  of  Jena,  to  hoodwink  the  Emperor  by  the 
lame  excuse  that  the  proclamation  was  directed 
against  Morocco  ;  no  one  for  a  moment  was  deceived, 
although  Napoleon  pretended  to  be  so  for  a  time, 
until  he  could  weaken  Spain  by  deporting  her 
troops  and  introducing  further  discord  in  her 
counsels.  The  latter  was  an  easy  task  now  ;  for  the 
hatred  between  the  party  of  the  Prince  of  Asturias 
and  that  of  Godoy  and  the  Queen  was  stronger 
than  ever.  The  young  Princess  of  Asturias  herself 
had  died  in  May,  1806,  of  consumption,  though 
Canon  Escoiquiz  took  care  to  spread  the  rumour 
that  she  had  been  poisoned  by  the  Queen's 
favourite  ;  and  this  event,  whilst  it  removed  the 
principal  focus  of  intrigue  in  the  palace,  and  was  to 
that  extent  favourable  to  Godoy,  left  young  Fer- 
nando a  widower  free  to  strengthen  his  cause  by  a 
powerful  marriage.  Each  fresh  attack  upon  Godoy 
by  the  friends  of  the  heir-apparent  was  answered  by 
the  granting  of  new  honours  to  the  favourite  by  the 
King,  whose  affection  for  his  dear  Manuel  was  as  great 
as  that  of  the  Queen.  The  post  of  Grand  Admiral 
of  Spain  and  the  Indies,  with  the  dtle  of  Serene 
Highness — an  unprecedented  honour  for  a  Spanish 
subject — was  the  new  proof  given  of  the  monarch's 
love  ;  and  Fernando,  offended  and  jealous  beyond 
measure  at  what  he  called  a  usurpation  of  his  rights, 
took  a  step  which,  while  it  was  intended    to  beat 


Godoy    at    his     own     game,    played     entirely    into 
Napoleon's  hands. 

Up  to  this  time  it  was  the  favourite  who  had 
posed  as  the  friend  of  the  French — whilst  the 
heir-apparent,  under  the  ini^uence  of  his  Neapolitan 
wife,  had  taken  the  popular  side  and  turned  to 
England.  It  was  not  easy  or  dignified  for  him 
suddenly  to  change  into  a  suppliant  of  Napoleon  ; 
but  Escoiquiz  and  his  friends  soon  managed  to 
get  into  confidential  communication  with  the 
Marquis  de  Beauharnais,  the  new  French  ambassador 
(January,  1807).  The  latter  was  diplomatic  and 
cautious,  and  the  matter  dragged  for  a  time.  He 
could  not,  he  said,  be  a  party  to  a  plot  against 
the  King  and  Queen,  or  even  Godoy,  unless 
Prince  Fernando  himself  gave  him  a  pledge.  This 
was  done  by  an  agreed  signal  when  next  they 
met,  and  during  the  summer  it  was  arranged  that 
Fernando  should  ask  for  a  lady  of  Napoleon's  family 
for  a  wife.  He  did  so  in  an  autograph  letter  in  which 
truckling  servility  equalled  base  undutifulness.  To 
the  tyrant  who  had  dethroned  his  kinsmen  and  sacri- 
ficed Spain  he  wrote  thus  :  "  The  fear  of  troublin<7 
your  imperial  Majesty  in  the  midst  of  the  great  deeds 
and  the  negotiations  which  so  ceaselessly  occupy  you, 
has  hitherto  prevented  me  from  satisfying  directly 
my  earnest  desires  to  express  to  you,  at  least  in 
writing,  the  feelings  of  respect,  esteem,  and  affection 
which  I  entertain  for  the  greatest  hero  of  all  time, 
sent  by  Providence  to  save  Europe  from  the  total 
overthrow  which  threatened  her,  to  consolidate 
tottering  thrones  and  give  to  the  nations  peace  and 



happiness.  The  virtues  of  your  imperial  Majesty, 
your  moderation,  your  goodness  even  to  your  most 
unjust  and  implacable  enemies ;  everything  bade  me 
hope  that  the  expression  of  these  sentiments  would 
be  received  as  the  overflowing  of  a  heart  full  of 
admiration  and  truest  friendship.  The  state  in  which 
I  have  been  for  some  time,  which  it  is  impossible  can 
have  been  unperceived  by  the  great  penetration  of 
your  Majesty,  has  hitherto  been  a  second  obstacle 
which  has  held  back  my  pen.  But  I  am  full  of  hope 
that  in  the  magnanimity  of  your  imperial  Majesty  I 
shall  find  a  powerful  protection ;  and  I  therefore  have 
determined  not  only  to  express  the  sentiments  of  my 
heart  for  your  august  person,  but  also  to  deposit  in 
the  breast  of  your  Majesty  as  in  that  of  a  tender 
father,  my  most  profound  secrets."  With  incredible 
meanness  Fernando  then  proceeds  to  hint  in  un- 
mistakable terms  at  the  relations  between  his 
mother  and  Godoy,  and  prays  for  Napoleon's 
"  paternal  protection "  in  his  attempts  to  over- 
throw the  "  perfidious  egotists,"  "  the  astute  and 
malignant  councillors "  who  surrounded  his  father ; 
and  abjectly  begs  that  the  Emperor  "  will  deign  to 
grant  him  a  princess  of  his  august  house  for  a  wife." 
This  letter  was  written  on  the  i  ith  of  October,  1807  ; 
and  in  the  meanwhile  Godoy  was  living  in  a  fool's 
paradise,  enjoying  more  than  ever,  as  he  imagined, 
the  favour  and  confidence  of  Napoleon,  who,  by  the 
victory  of  Eylau  over  Russia  and  the  treaties  of 
Tilsit,  had  now  brought  the  whole  continent  of 
Europe  to  his  feet.  The  arrival  of  the  Emperor  in 
Paris  (27th  of  July,  1807)  coincided  with  the  reception 


of  the  news  of  the  repulse  of  the  Engh'sh  at  Buenos 
Ayres,  and  the  mutual  congratulations  of  the  allies, 
with  the  pretended  cordiality  of  Napoleon  towards 
Godoy,  gave  an  opportunity  for  another  step  to  be 
taken  by  the  former  in  his  plans  for  the  final  sub- 
jugation of  Spain.  Already,  in  order  to  gain  his 
favour,  Godoy  had  allowed  fifteen  thousand  Spanish 
troops  to  be  sent  as  a  part  of  Napoleon's  army  to 
Germany,  and  now  pressure  was  brought  upon  Spain 
to  unite  with  France  in  compelling  the  Portuguese 
finally  to  abandon  the  English  alliance.  An 
ultimatum  was  sent  to  the  Prince  Reeent  of 
Portugal  requiring  him,  not  only  to  refuse  access 
into  his  ports  to  English  ships,  but  also  to  confiscate 
all  English  property  and  imprison  English  subjects. 
This  he  refused  to  do,  as  Napoleon  had  foreseen, 
and  the  cunningly  prepared  plot  was  then  ripe  for 

For  many  months  Godoy's  agent  in  Paris,  Iz- 
quierdo,  had  been  in  secret  treaty  with  Napoleon 
for  the  occupation  and  dismemberment  of  Portugal, 
which  was  to  serve  as  the  French  Emperor's 
excuse  for  the  introduction  of  his  troops  into  Spain. 
A  strong  force  under  Junot  had  been  collected  in 
readiness  on  the  P>anco-Spanish  frontier,  and 
immediately  on  the  refusal  of  the  Portuguese  to 
obey  the  commands  from  Paris  the  French  army 
crossed  the  Bidasoa  and  camped  on  Spanish  soil 
(October  18,  1807),  before  even  the  negotiations  with 
Izquierdo  in  Paris  had  been  concluded.  It  was  a 
flagrant  breach  of  faith  on  the  part  of  Napoleon,  and 
the  first  of  the  series  of  great  events  which  changed 


the  history  of  Europe.  There  were  a  ioxN  far-seeing 
Spaniards  who  viewed  with  distrust  and  alarm 
the  contempt  with  which  Napoleon  was  treating  the 
rights  of  their  country ;  but  both  Godoy  and  the 
opposite  party  of  the  Prince  of  Asturias  had  gone  too 
far  in  their  base  courting  of  the  Conqueror  to  turn 
back  now  ;  and  Junot  and  his  force  were  received 
with  open  arms  as  friends  and  allies. 

The  intruders  lost  not  a  day,  but  pushed  on 
into  the  centre  of  Spain ;  whilst  on  the  27th  of 
October  Izquierdo  signed  the  shameful  treaty  of 
Fontainebleau  for  the  dismemberment  of  Portugal. 
It  was  agreed  that  the  northern  part  of  the 
kingdom  should  be  erected  into  a  sovereign  state 
under  the  name  of  Northern  Lusitania  and  given 
to  the  King  of  Etruria  (Duke  of  Parma)  in  ex- 
change for  the  cession  of  Tuscany  to  the  French  ; 
the  Algarves  and  Alem-Tejo  were  to  be  ceded 
as  an  independent  principality  to  Godoy,  and 
the  centre  of  Portugal  was  to  be  held  until  the 
general  peace,  with  the  view  of  restoring  it  to  the 
Portuguese  royal  family  in  exchange  for  Gibraltar  or 
one  of  the  Spanish  colonies  conquered  by  the  English. 
Napoleon  was  to  guarantee  the  independence  and 
integrity  of  Spain,  and  a  French  army  of  28,000 
men  was  to  be  allowed  to  march  through  Spain,  and 
fed  at  Spanish  expense,  as  well  as  another  force  of 
40,000  men  in  case  it  should  be  necessary.  The 
ambition  of  Godoy  had  led  Spain  into  this  trap. 
Everything  had  been  carefully  prepared  by  Napoleon. 
The  Prince  of  Asturias  had  played  into  his  hands  and 
was  competing  with  the  favourite  for   his  support ; 

napoleon's  plot  succeeds.  85 

Maria  Luisa  was  blinded  to  every  consideration  of 
maternal  and  wifely  duty  b}-  her  love  for  Godoy  ;  the 
poor,  weak  King,  believing  himself  a  genius,  was 
swayed  to  any  side  by  his  wife  and  her  paramour  ; 
and  the  wily,  unscrupulous  Corsican,  with  a  fine  army 
on  Spanish  soil,  knew  now  that  he  had  them  all  at 
his  mercy  and  could  do  with  them  as  he  pleased.  So 
completely  had  all  parties  in  Spain  been  deceived, 
that  both  Prince  Fernando  and  Godoy  respectively 
looked  upon  the  French  bayonets  as  having  been 
sent  to  support  his  particular  cause  against  the  other. 




The  young  Prince  Fernando  was  not  an  amiable 
character.  Sly,  sarcastic,  and  malicious  by  nature, 
he  had  become,  under  the  teaching  and  prompting  of 
Escoiquiz,  bitter  and  vengeful  to  the  last  degree, 
especially  against  his  mother.  When  both  parties, 
emboldened  by  the  presence  of  the  French  troops, 
thought  the  time  had  come  for  striking  a  crushing 
blow  at  each  other,  rumours  were  spread  through 
the  capital  from  the  prince's  apartments  that  the 
Queen  was  plotting  to  disinherit  her  son  and  place 
Godoy  on  the  throne  ;  ^  whilst  the  favourite's  friends 
were  as  busy  disseminating  rumours  of  the  treasonable 
intrigues  of  the  heir-apparent  against  his  father, 
Godoy's  party  was  able  to  strike  the  first  blow,  and 

'  It  was  alleged  that  the  Queen's  youngest  child,  the  Infante  Don 
Francisco  de  Paula  (afterwards  the  father  of  the  King  Consort  of  Isabel 
II.,  Don  Francisco  de  Asis),  was  the  son  of  Godoy;  and  that  Maria 
Luisa  and  her  favourite  were  desirous  of  changing  the  succession  for  the 
ultimate  benefit  of  this  child,  This,  of  course,  was  possibly  true,  but 
there  is  no  proof  of  it  other  than  public  gossip  spread  by  Fernando's 
friends,  and  Maria  Luisa  was  certainly  the  principal  mover  in  obtaining 
the  King's  pardon  for  his  son  Fernando. 



for  a  time  was  triumphant.  The  prince  had  been 
ostentatiously  occupied  for  some  time  in  literary 
labours — the  translation  of  French  authors  and  the 
like-^which  gave  an  excuse  for  him  to  pass  many 
hours  in  writing.  But  Godoy's  spies  watched  him 
closely,  and  it  was  noticed  that  he  wrote  much  late 
at  night,  a  fact  that  was  promptly  conveyed  to  the 
King  and  Queen,  who  were  for  a  time  alone,  as 
the  favourite  had  remained  at  Madrid  ill  of  fever 
when  the  Court  removed  to  the  Escorial  early  in 

The  distrust  thus  aroused  was  rendered  acute  on  the 
28th  of  October,  when  the  King  found  on  his  dressing- 
table  a  note  with  the  superscription,  "  Haste,  Haste, 
Haste  !  "  "  The  Prince  of  Asturias,"  it  ran,  "  is 
planning  a  rising  in  the  palace,  and  the  crown  is  in 
peril.  The  Queen  runs  the  risk  of  dying  of  poison, 
and  steps  should  be  taken  immediately  to  frustrate 
the  plot."  In  deep  tribulation  the  King  consulted  his 
wife,  and  they  agreed  to  pay  a  surprise  visit  to  the 
prince's  apartments.  They  found  their  son  deeply 
immersed  in  some  papers  which  he  endeavoured  to 
hide  ;  but  which  the  King  seized  and  carried  away 
with  him,  notwithstanding  the  violent  and  disrespect- 
ful protest  of  the  prince.  The  documents  proved  to 
be  in  the  highest  degree  compromising.  There  was 
a  long  address  to  the  King  which  Fernando  had 
copied  from  Escoiquiz's  ciphered  draft,  accusing 
Godoy  of  the  vilest  crimes  against  morality,  and  as  a 
minister:  "he  has,"  it  said,  "not  only  .  .  .  prostituted 
the  flower  of  Spanish  women  from  the  highest  to  the 
lowest,  but  his  house,  his  official  receptions,  and  his 


ministry,  have  been  open  markets  for  prostitution,  in 
which  adultery  was  paid  for  by  pensions,  offices,  and 
dignities."  He  was  further  accused  of  an  intention  of 
kilHng  the  King  and  all  his  family  for  the  purpose  of 
himself  usurping  the  throne  ;  and  the  remedy  pro- 
posed was  to  give  Fernando  a  free  hand  to  order  the 
favourite's  imprisonment,  and  to  take  such  other 
measures  as  he  thought  fit.  The  King  was  to  be  invited 
to  meet  Fernando's  friends  at  a  hunting  party,  where 
proofs  of  all  the  accusations  would  be  submitted  to 
him,  and  he  was  to  be  requested  not  to  see  the  Queen 
or  Godoy  afterwards  until  the  blow  had  been  struck. 
Other  papers  divulged  the  plan  already  referred  to 
for  the  marriage  of  Fernando  with  a  lady  of 
Napoleon's  choosing,  instead  of  with  the  sister  of 
Godoy's  wife,  as  had  been  proposed.  Documents  of 
a  still  more  compromising  character  were  also  found 
— according  to  Godoy — in.  which  the  liberty,  if  not  the 
life,  of  the  Queen — and  even  of  the  King — was  evi- 
dently aimed  at.  These  latter  papers  were  seized  and 
destroyed  by  the  Queen,  in  order  to  save  her  son, 
though  their  nature  may  be  guessed  by  the  tone  of 
poor  Charles's  letter  of  the  same  day  to  Napoleon, 
giving  him  an  account  of  the  discovery — "  Monsieur 
mon  frere,"  wrote  the  unhappy  king  on  the  29th  ot 
October,  "  at  the  moment  when  I  was  occupied  with 
the  means  of  co-operating  for  the  destruction  of  our 
common  enemies  ;  when  I  thought  that  all  the  plots 
of  the  late  Queen  of  Naples  had  been  buried  with  her 
daughter,  I  have  found  with  a  horror,  which  makes 
me  shudder,  that  the  most  terrible  spirit  of  mtrigue 
had  penetrated    into  the  heart  of  my    own    palace. 


Alas  !  my  heart  bleeds  to  give  you  an  account  of  so 
fearful  an  attempt.  My  dear  son,  the  heir  of  my 
throne,  has  formed  a  horrible  plot  to  dethrone  me, 
and  has  gone  to  the  length  of  attempting  the  life  of 
his  mother.  A  plan  so  terrible  must  be  punished 
with  the  exemplary  rigour  of  the  law.  The  succession 
of  the  prince  must  be  revoked,  one  of  his  brothers 
will  be  more  worthy  than  he  to  fill  his  place  in  my 
heart  and  on  my  throne.  I  am  now  seeking  his 
accomplices,  to  discover  the  whole  of  this  disgraceful 
plot,  and  I  do  not  wish  to  lose  a  moment  in  inform- 
ing your  imperial  Majest}^,  whom  I  pray  to  aid  me 
with  }-our  wisdom  and  advice." 

On  the  same  night  that  this  was  written,  the  long, 
dusky  corridors  of  the  grim  granite  palace  of  the 
Escorial  saw  a  sad  procession,  which  reminded  the 
trembling  witnesses  of  a  similar  event  two  and  a  half 
centuries  before,  when  Philip  II.  himself  arrested  his 
only  son,  Don  Carlos.  First  came  a  gentleman-in- 
waiting,  the  Duke  of  Bejar,  bearing  candelabra  to 
illuminate  the  darkness,  then  a  platoon  of  the  Spanish 
royal  guard,  in  their  blue  and  red  uniforms,  followed 
by  a  stout,  well-built,  fresh-coloured  young  man  of  23, 
of  singularly  sinister  aspect.  His  forehead  was  white 
and  well  shaped,  and  over  his  dark  eyes  lowered  con- 
spicuously heavy  smooth  jet-black  eyebrows,  glossy  like 
leeches  ;  but  it  was  the  lower  part  of  the  face  which 
mainly  attracted  attention.  The  point  of  the  droop- 
ing Bourbon  nose  descended  over  a  very  short  upper 
lip  to  the  level  of  the  straight-slit  mouth  ;  whilst  the 
nether  jaw,  underhung  like  those  of  the  princes  of  the 
house  of  Austria,  stood  clear  out,  so  that  the  under- 


lip  was  on  a  level  with  the  point  of  the  nose.     This 
was  Fernando,   Prince  of  Asturias,  who,  in  his  own 
person,    centred    all    the    evil    qualities    of  both    his 
Bourbon    and    Habsburg    ancestors    without    any  of 
their  virtues  ;    a  man  of  undoubted  ability,  beloved 
to   frenzy   by    a   generous,  loyal  people,  who  made 
greater  sacrifices  for  him  than  a  nation  ever  made  for 
a  ruler  ;  but  a  prince  who  yet,  through  the  whole  of  a 
long  life,  belied  every  promise,  betrayed  every  friend, 
repaid  every  sacrifice  by  persecution,  rewarded  love 
and   attachment  by  cruelty  and  injustice  ;  and  who 
thus  early   began  by  treason    to    an    over-indulgent 
father    an    evil    career    which    was    to    bring    untold 
misery  to  his  country,  and  a  heritage  of  war  of  which 
the  end  has  not  yet  been  reached.     By  the  side  of 
the  prince  walked  his  father,  a  stout,  elderly,  red-faced 
gentleman,  immersed  in   grief  and   followed    by  the 
ministers  and  other  courtiers,  who  thus  conveyed  the 
heir-apparent  a  prisoner  to  his  apartments  after  his 
examination  on  the  charge  of  treason.     The  next  day 
there  appeared  on  the  walls  of  the  capital  a  pathetic 
address  of  the  King  to  his  people,  telling  them  how 
his   son  had  been  seduced  into  a  wicked  conspiracy 
against  the  throne.     But  the  Madrilenos  could  believe 
no  evil  of  their  beloved  Fernando,  and  once    more 
they  made  a  scapegoat  of  the   Choricero,  who,  they 
said,  had  invented  a  false  plot  to  ruin  the  heir  to  the 


Fernando  was  no  hero,  and  before  many  hours  had 
passed,  with  incredible  baseness,  he  betrayed  all  his 
accomplices  and  made  a  clean  breast  of  his  evil-doing 
to  the  Queen.     He  had,  he  said,  written  secretly  to 


Napoleon,  he  had  sic^ned  a  decree  appointing  the  Duke 
of  Infantado  governor  of  Castile,  speaking  of  the  King 
as  dead  ;  but  it  was  all  the  fault  of  those  who  advised 
him,  and  whose  names  he  gave.  Then  it  was  that 
Godoy  and  the  Queen  began  to  understand  that 
Napoleon  had  deceived  them,  and  that  the  French 
army  on  Spanish  soil  was  more  likely  to  help 
Fernando  than  them.  They  were  aghast  ;  Godoy, 
sick  as  he  was,  flew  to  the  Escorial  to  stifle  the  matter 
before  it  went  any  further.  Entering  the  room  in 
which  Fernando  was  confined,  he  offered  to  arrange 
everything.  Fernando,  like  the  craven  that  he  was, 
willingly  accepted  any  course  which  offered  safety 
for  himself.  At  the  dictation  of  the  man  whose  ruin 
he  had  plotted,  he  wrote  the  following  letters  to  his 
parents:  "Dear  Papa, — I  have  transgressed.  I 
have  failed  in  my  duty  towards  you  as  my  king  and 
my  father ;  but  I  repent,  and  promise  your  Majesty 
my  most  humble  obedience.  I  should  have  done 
nothing  without  your  Majesty's  knowledge  ;  but  I 
was  taken  by  surprise.  I  have  divulged  the 
culprits,  and  I  beg  your  Majesty  to  forgive  me 
for  having  lied  to  you  the  other  night ;  by  permit- 
ting me  to  cast  myself  at  your  royal  feet. — Your 
grateful  son,  FERNANDO,  San  Lorenzo,  November 
5,  1807." 
The  letter  to  the  Queen  was  as  follows  : — 
"  Dear  Mamma, — 1  repent  of  the  dreadful  crime 
which  I  have  committed  against  my  parents  and 
sovereigns,  and  with  the  greatest  humility  beg  you 
to  deign  to  intercede  with  my  papa  for  me,  to  allow 
me  to  cast  myself  at  his  royal  feet." 


These  letters  were  at  once  published  with  a  decree  of 
pardon  for  the  prince,  beginning  with  the  words — "The 
voice  of  nature  disarms  the  stroke  of  vengeance,"  and 
providing  for  the  prosecution  of  Fernando's  advisers. 
Care  was  taken  by  Godoy  to  avoid  all  mention  of 
Napoleon  in  the  case,  for  the  Emperor  had  sternly 
warned  him  through  Izquierdo  that  this  must  be  done, 
and  at  the  same  time  Fernando  was  made  to  appear 
undutiful,  disloyal,  weak,  and  treacherous.  To  this 
extent  Godoy  had  conquered  ;  but  the  great  mass  of 
the  people  was  on  Fernando's  side  and  would  believe 
no  ill  of  him  for  trying  to  get  rid  of  the  Choi'icero  and  of 
the  dishonour  which  clung  to  the  Queen.  To  such  an 
extent  was  this  the  case  that  even  the  judges  specially 
chosen  by  Godoy  refused  to  convict  Fernando's 
accomplices  ;  and  after  a  long  trial  Charles  himself, 
by  an  exercise  of  despotic  power,  sent  Escoiquiz,  the 
Dukes  of  Infantado  and  San  Carlos  and  others,  into 
confinement  or  exile. 

From  first  to  last  this  affair  was  disgraceful  to  all 
concerned.  The  son  was  ready  to  sacrifice  his  parents, 
the  King  was  in  a  hurry  publicly  to  condemn  his  heir, 
without  waiting  for  proper  inquiry  or  examination  of 
proofs  ;  at  the  first  sound  of  danger  Fernando  threw 
the  whole  blame  upon  his  advisers,  for  whom  he 
could  find  no  words  sufficiently  abusive,  and  in  the 
most  nauseous  manner  flattered  and  caressed  Godoy, 
who  in  his  turn  took  care  that  the  prince's  pardon 
should  exhibit  him  in  the  worst  possible  light.  It 
was  evident  to  Napoleon  by  this  time  that  popular  as 
Fernando  might  be,  he  was  too  weak  and  mean- 
spirited  to  be  useful,  even  temporarily,  as  an  ally,  but 


he  might  still  be  employed  as  a  puppet.  Steps  were 
taken  therefore  by  Beauharnais  to  assure  the  prince 
of  the  Emperor's  continued  protection,  and  negotia- 
tions were  opened  for  his  marriage  with  the  daughter 
of  Lucien.  The  lady,  however,  had  a  will  of  her  own, 
and  flatly  refused  the  honour.  In  the  meanwhile 
events  were  rapidly  tending  to  a  crisis  which  placed 
all  other  considerations  in  the  background. 

Junot  had  marched  without  delay  into  Portugal, 
where  the  Government  had  tardily  endeavoured  to 
avert  the  disasters  which  threatened  by  concessions 
to  French  and  Spanish  demands.  Seeing  that 
resistance  was  impossible  the  Regent,  at  the  advice 
of  Lord  Strangford,  decided  to  transfer  his  court  to 
Brazil.  On  the  day  after  the  royal  family  sailed 
from  the  Tagus  the  French  army  entered  Lisbon 
(November  30,  1807),  amidst  silent  mourning  of  a 
people ;  and  by  the  end  of  the  year  the  whole 
kingdom  was  occupied  by  French  and  Spanish 
troops.  It  will  be  recollected  that  one  of  the  con- 
ditions of  the  treaty  of  Fontainebleau  had  been  that 
the  King  of  Etruria  should  exchange  Tuscany  for 
Northern  Lusitania.  The  King  himself  had  died, 
but  his  widow,  a  daughter  of  the  King  of  Spain,  was 
acting  as  Regent  for  her  son  in  Florence.  She  was 
quite  ignorant  of  the  arrangement  which  had  been 
made  over  her  head  for  another  change  of  her 
dominions,  and  was  astounded  at  the  end  of 
November  by  an  intimation  that  the  Emperor  was 
on  his  way  to  Italy,  and  that  she  must  evacuate  her 
kingdom  at  once.  She  started  heart-broken  for  Spain 
with  her  children,  and  on  her  way  saw  Napoleon  at 


Milan.  Instead  of  consolation  she  received  from  him 
nothing  but  discouragement.  She  was  given  clearly 
to  understand  that  he  had  no  intention  of  fulfilling  his 
part  of  the  disgraceful  treaty,  and  that  her  Northern 
Lusitanian  kingdom  was  nothing  but  a  chimera  ;  he 
had,  indeed,  already  offered  the  Portuguese  crown  to 
his  brother  Lucien,  who  had  refused  it. 

The  Emperor's  plans  for  the  subjugation  of  the 
whole  Iberian  Peninsula  were  now  hardly  concealed. 
He  had  taken  the  measure  of  all  the  governing 
powers  in  Spain,  and  saw  that  he  might  treat  them 
with  complete  disregard.  By  the  beginning  of 
January,  1808,  two  new  French  co7'ps  (Tarrnce  had 
entered  Spain  under  the  command  respectively  of 
Dupont  and  Moncey ;  and  conjectures  of  all  sorts  were 
rife  as  to  the  meaning  of  the  great  warlike  pre- 
parations of  the  Emperor.  The  bulk  of  the  Spanish 
people  looked  on  with  distrust,  but  were  cunningly 
kept  quiet  by  the  idea  that  the  French  bayonets  had 
been  sent  to  establish  their  beloved  Fernando  on  the 
throne,  and  to  put  an  end  to  the  rule  of  the  Choricero. 
Godoy  himself  doubtless  now  understood  the  danger 
of  his  position,  but  it  was  too  late  to  draw  back,  and 
his  eyes  were  still  fixed  on  the  promised  sovereignty 
of  the  Algarves.  At  his  instance  Charles  sent  servile 
letters  to  the  Emperor,  and  no  opportunity  was  lost 
of  conciliating  the  Conqueror.  But  it  was  the  lamb 
conciliating  the  wolf  Napoleon  had  probably  not 
yet  quite  decided  his  ultimate  mode  of  procedure,  but 
he  had  already  made  up  his  mind  that  the  Bourbons 
must  follow  the  Braganzas,  and  the  Iberian  Peninsula 
be  at  his  bidding  alone. 


Brigade  after  brigade  of  Frenchmen  was  poured 
into  Spain,  in  violation  of  treaties  and  national  rights. 
The  French  hardly  took  the  trouble  to  keep  up  an 
appearance  of  friendship.  The  citadel  of  Pamplona 
was  seized  by  stratagem  by  Armagnac  in  February, 
the  fortress  of  Barcelona  by  Duhesme  a  few  days  after- 
wards, and  gradually,  either  by  trick,  cajolery,  or  threats 
of  force,  nearly  all  the  strong  places  in  Northern  and 
Central  Spain  were  occupied  by  the  intruders.  The 
excitement  and  alarm  of  the  people  grew.  The  fate 
of  Portugal,  now  treated  as  a  French  possession,  was 
a  terrible  reminder  of  the  helplessness  of  Spain  ;  and 
the  hatred  of  Godoy,  upon  whom  the  blame  for  every- 
thing was  cast,  grew  deeper  than  ever.  He  had  tried 
unsuccessfully  to  obtain  leave  to  retire,  and  Charles 
was  almost  tempted  to  let  him  go,  so  outspoken  now 
was  the  discontent  of  the  people.  But  Fernando  had 
no  intention  of  letting  him  off  so  cheaply  ;  he  wanted 
him  for  a  scapegoat,  and  excelled  himself  in  adulation 
of  the  "  saviour  of  Spain,"  whom  he  fervently  begged 
to  remain  at  the  head  of  affairs.  Poor  simple  Charles 
melted  to  tears  at  the  sweet  unity  that  reigned  in  his 
family,  now  that  Fernando  and  "  Manuel "  were  such 
dear  friends,  and  also  prayed  his  darling  minister  to 
stay,  little  suspecting  that  the  plot  which  had  been 
frustrated  a  few  months  before  was  now  in  fuU 
swing  again. 

At  length  in  March  (1808)  it  became  clear,  even  to 
Godoy,  that  he  could  palter  and  trifle  no  longer. 
There  were  a  hundred  thousand  French  soldiers  in 
Spain  without  reason  or  excuse.  Murat,  Grand  Duke 
of  Berg,  had  just  arrived  at  Burgos  as  the  Emperor's 


Lieutenant-General,  and  fresh  troops  continued  to 
swarm  over  the  Pyrenees.  Simultaneously  Izquierdo 
came  post  haste  from  Paris  with  terrifying  news. 
The  Emperor  demanded  a  fresh  treaty  with  unheard- 
of  conditions,  which  would  practically  have  dis- 
membered Spain,  and  deprived  her  of  independence. 
Godoy  in  desperation  advised  the  King  to  call  upon 
Napoleon  to  suspend  the  further  violation  of  the 
Spanish  frontier  and  to  fulfil  the  existing  treaty 
obligations,  or  Spain  would  defend  her  soil  and  her 
honour.  But  it  was  too  late  :  neither  Charles  nor 
Fernando's  friends  were  prepared  for  so  Quixotic  a 
course,  and  the  flight  of  the  royal  family  seemed 
the  only  alternative,  in  imitation  of  the  Regent  of 
Portugal.  It  was  decided  at  length  that  the  King 
and  Court  should  retire  to  Seville,  there  to  await 
events,  and  if  necessary  afterwards  sail  for  America;  ^ 
and  as  a  first  stage  of  the  journey  it  was  ordered  that 
a  move  should  be  made  to  the  palace  of  Aranjuez  at 
no  great  distance  from  the  capital. 

The  resolution  was  to  have  been  kept  secret,  but 
soon  vague  and  disquieting  rumours  pervaded  Madrid. 
It  was  no  uncommon  thing  for  the  royal  family  to 
visit  Aranjuez  and  other  palaces  accompanied  by 
Godoy;  in  fact,  they  had  recently  passed  much  of  their 
time  away  from  Madrid,  but  the  stormy  petrels  of 
Fernando's  party  kept  public  excitement  awake. 
The  turbulent  Count  de  Montijo,  the  idol  and  leader 

'  It  was  the  opinion  of  the  best-informed  persons  at  the  time,  and  is 
probably  true,  that  this  was  the  real  object  Napoleon  had  in  view  in 
proposing  the  fresh  terms  by  Izquierdo.  If  he  could  frighten  the  royal 
family  away  the  coast  would  be  clear  for  him. 

FLIGHT   OF    THE    COURT.  97 

of  the  vicious  classes  in  Madrid,  was  lurking  disguised 
in  one  of  the  lower  quarters  in  daily  communication 
with  Fernando,  and  the  priests  and  friars,  as  usual, 
were  busy  with  their  whispered  hints  against  Godoy. 
It  was  noticed,  too,  that  large  numbers  of  rough 
countrymen  were  flocking  into  Madrid  led  by  fugle- 
men ;  and  to  those  who  were  in  the  habit  of  watching 
events  it  was  evident  that  mischief  was  brewing. 
The  lady  with  whom  Godoy  lived  before  and  after 
his  marriage.  Dona  Josefa  Tudo,  was  noticed  to  be 
packing  up  her  establishment  in  Madrid,  and  pre- 
paring for  a  long  absence  ;  and  soon  the  gossip 
spread  that  in  a  council  held  at  Aranjuez  the  advice 
of  Fernando  had  been  overborne,  and  the  royal 
family  had  decided  to  continue  their  flight  to  Seville. 
Orders  were  also  given  for  the  greater  part  of  the 
garrison  in  the  capital  to  proceed  to  Aranjuez  ;  and 
the  citizens,  alarmed  and  disturbed  by  the  agents  of 
the  prince,  openly  demonstrated  their  indignation 
that  at  such  a  critical  moment  they  should  be  thus 
abandoned  by  their  rulers. 

The  excitement  increased  hour  by  hour,  and,  as 
usual,  the  whole  of  the  blame  was  cast  upon  Godoy, 
who  was  said  to  have  sold  Spain  to  the  Frenchmen, 
rather  than  Fernando  should  succeed.  Charles  en- 
deavoured to  allay  the  rising  storm.  In  a  proclama- 
tion addressed  to  "  my  dear  vassals,"  he  assured  the 
people  that  they  "might  breathe  freely :  for  the  army 
of  my  dear  ally,  the  Emperor  of  the  French,  is  passing 
through  my  country  solely  with  ideas  of  peace  and 
amity  :  its  object  being  to  reach  points  threatened  by 
the  common  enemy  ;  "  and  he  emphatically  denied  the 



story  of  his  intended  flight  (March  i6,  1808).  This 
was  for  a  moment  a  check  to  the  conspirators  in 
Aranjuez,  where  all  the  elements  of  disturbance  had 
now  congregated,  but  a  judicious  expenditure  of 
money  and  effort  by  the  prince's  henchmen,  the 
Count  de  Monti  jo  and  Don  Manuel  de  Jauregui, 
spread  abroad  the  news  that  Godoy  was  going  to 
spirit  away  in  the  night  of  the  17th,  not  only  the 
King  and  Queen,  but  Fernando  as  well. 

In  the  meanwhile  utter  confusion  reigned  both  inside 
and  outside  the  palace.  Murat  was  rapidly  march- 
ing upon  Madrid,  and  Dupont  with  his  corps  d'armce 
was  hastening  to  occupy  Segovia  and  the  Escorial. 
The  King,  as  we  have  seen,  pretended  to  believe  no 
harm,  but  the  movements  of  the  French  paralysed  all 
government  and  no  orders  were  given  except  those 
for  flight.  The  people  were  in  a  frenzy  of  excite- 
ment. Fernando  was,  or  feigned  to  be,  in  fear  of 
assassination  by  Godoy's  orders,  an  idea  also  osten- 
tatiously disseminated  by  Beauharnais,  and  for  the 
night  of  the  17th  the  outbreak  at  Aranjuez  was 
prepared.  The  Guards,  who  were  under  the  com- 
mand of  Godoy's  brother  Diego,  had  been  secretly 
gained  to  the  popular  side,  and  a  large  crowd  of 
country  people,  mostly  Manchegans  introduced  for 
the  purpose,  and  hired  ruffians,  surrounded  the 
favourite's  palace  in  Aranjuez,  under  the  leadership 
of  the  disguised  Count  de  Montijo.  It  is  asserted 
by  eye-witnesses — but  denied  by  Godoy  himself — 
that  at  midnight  his  mistress  left  the  house  in  a 
travelling  carriage,  and  that  this  gave  the  first 
impetus    to    the    disturbance :    in    any    case    a    shot 


and  a  bugle  call  rang  out  simultaneously  with  the 
appearance  of  a  light  in  Fernando's  window  at  the 
time  that  a  carriage  left  Godoy's  house,  and  in  a 
moment  the  tumult  began. 

The  troops  were  in  favour  of  Fernando,  and  at  once 
took  up  positions  where  they  might  prevent  the  flight 
of  the  King  ;  other  groups  shouted  below  the  apart- 
ments of  Charles,  who  was  ill  in  bed  with  gout,  whilst 
the  main  body  of  ruffians  broke  through  the  gateway 
of  Godoy's  palace.  From  room  to  room  they  rushed 
in  murderous  search  of  the  hated  Choricero,  wrecking 
and  destroying  as  they  went.  The  Princess  of  the 
Peace,  a  member  of  the  royal  family,  and  her 
daughter,  were  treated  with  respect  and  conveyed  to 
the  royal  palace,  but  consideration  was  shown  for 
nothing  else.  As  the  crowd  were  breaking  into  his 
bedroom  Godoy  had  just  time  to  leap  from  his  bed, 
throw  on  a  dressing-gown  and  escape  by  a  secret 
door  to  a  lumber-room  above,  where  he  lay  hidden 
under  a  roll  of  matting  whilst  the  mob  wreaked 
vengeance  on  the  property,  and  wounded  and  im- 
prisoned his  brother.  Inside  the  palace  triumphant 
Fernando  made  no  secret  now  of  his  approval  of  the 
rising.  Maria  Luisa  cursed,  and  Charles  wept  at 
their  treacherous  son,  but  in  the  hope  of  diverting 
vengeance  from  their  dear  Manuel  the  King 
during  the  night  signed  a  decree  dismissing  Godoy 
from  his  posts  of  Generalissimo  of  the  army  and 
Grand  Admiral  of  the  navy. 

The  next  day,  the  i8th,  passed  in  great  anxiety 
but  comparative  quiet,  but  during  the  night  it  was 
conveyed  to  the  King  that  a  furthur  tumult  was  im- 


pending,  more  dangerous  to  him  than  the  preceding 
one,  and  that  the  troops  could  not  be  depended  upon. 
There  was  nothing  for  it  but  to  appeal  to  Fernando, 
who  promised  sulkily  to  use  his  influence  to  appease 
the    popular    excitement.     His    efforts    were    either 
insincere  or  too  late,  for  on  the  morning  of  the  19th  a 
more  threatening  crowd  than  ever  assembled  before 
the    palace.      Suddenly   a    shout    went    up    from    a 
thousand  throats  that  the  Choricero  had  been  found, 
and  the  mob  trooped  off  to  the  dismantled  house  of 
the  favourite.    Godoy,  after  thirty-six  hours  of  hiding, 
had  been  driven  by  hunger  and  thirst  to  emerge  from 
his  roll  of  matting.     He  had  in  vain  endeavoured  to 
bribe  a  guard  on  duty  in  his  bedroom,  and  had  been 
taken  prisoner.     Before  the  hurried   meal   necessary 
for   his    restoration    had    been    taken    the    mob   had 
reached   the  outside  of  the  house  and  were  howling 
for  his  life.     The  man  who  had  so  long  been  master 
of  Spain  could  find  now  in  his  own  wrecked  palace 
no    corner   in    which    he    might  hide  his  head,   and 
trembling,  well-nigh  fainting,  surrounded  by  guards, 
who  shielded  him  as  well  as  they  could,  he  was  led 
out  through  the  mouthing  multitude  to  the  barrack 
guard-room.     Under    and    over    the    horses    of    the 
soldiers  murderous  blows  were  aimed  at  the  unhappy 
man  ;  bathed  in  blood,  wounded  and  panting,  resting 
his  hands  on  the  saddles  of  the  guards  at  each  side  of 
him,  though  sinking  with  fear  and  fatigue,  he  managed 
to  keep  pace  with  the  rapid  trot  of  the  horses  that 
were  bearing  him  away  from  the  mad  fury  behind  ; 
and    at  length  rescued  from  immediate  death,  he  cast 
himself  down  in   an  agony  of  tears    on    the    rough 


guard-room  floor,  the  threats  and  curses  of  his  perse- 
cutors still  ringing  in  his  ears. 

Soon,  however,  the  crowd  attempted  to  invade 
the  barracks,  for  the  cry  was  raised  that  the 
CJioricero  was  escaping  after  all,  and  the  King 
and  Queen  in  terror  for  their  favourite  fervently 
prayed  their  son  to  save  him.  Fernando  consented 
scornfully ;  he  promised  the  mob  that  he  would  see 
justice  done,  and  dispersed  them,  and  then  stood  with 
a  mocking  smile  on  his  wicked  face  over  his  prostrate 
enemy,  the  man  upon  whom  he  had  fawned  as  his 
"saviour"  so  recently.  "I  have  saved  thy  life, 
Manolo,"  he  said  contemptuously.  "  I  thank  your 
Highness  humbly,"  was  the  reply.  "  Is  your  Highness 
already  King  ?  "  "  Not  yet,"  said  the  prince,  "  but  I 
shall  soon  be,"  and  turning  on  his  heels  he  left  him, 
saying  to  the  guard,  "  Send  a  surgeon  to  attend  to 
that  poor  wretch.  He  looks  like  an  Ecce  Homo." 
Fernando  was  sure  of  his  triumph  now,  and  made  his 
parents  understand  that  he  alone  had  power  over  the 
mob.  The  old  King,  afflicted  beyond  measure,,  saw 
that  his  undutiful  son  would  be  content  with  nothinc: 
less  than  his  abdication.  His  ministers,  particularly 
the  principal  of  them,  Caballero  and  Ceballos,  had 
rallied  to  the  rising  sun  of  Fernando,  and  at  seven 
o'clock  on  the  same  evening  Charles  IV.  laid  down 
his  thorny  crown,  signing  the  decree,  which  made 
Fernando  VII.  sovereign  of  Spain. 

The  news  sent  feverish  Madrid  frantic  with  joy. 
The  palaces  of  the  fallen  favourite  and  his  friends 
were  sacked,  all  the  emblems  of  his  greatness  de- 
stroyed, and  throughout  the  country  the  same  scenes 


were  enacted.  But  over  the  mad  rejoicing  of  the 
capital  at  the  coming  of  Fernando — the  Desired — 
the  spectre  of  impending  disaster  loomed.  The 
new  King  sent  deputations  of  grandees  to  greet 
Murat  on  his  approach,  and  on  the  23rd  of  March 
the  showy  Neapolitan  innkeeper's  son  entered  Madrid 
with  his  staff,  all  flashing  and  glittering,  at  the 
head  of  a  French  army  which  no  organised  force 
in  Spain  could  resist.  The  Madrilefios  love  shows, 
and  welcomed  Murat,  for  they  still  thought  he 
came  to  support  Fernando.  But  their  eyes  were 
soon  opened.  The  Frenchmen,  discontented  with 
their  quarters,  calmly  and  without  leave  took  others 
which  they  liked  better  ;  and  when  Fernando  entered 
his  capital  for  the  first  time  as  King,  on  the  day  after 
their  arrival,  Murat  ostentatiously  manoeuvred  his 
men  on  the  line  of  route  to  the  annoyance  of  the 
citizens,  who  said  that  their  king  needed  no  foreigner's 
protection  against  loyal  Spaniards,  now  that  the 
Choricero  had  fallen.  To  make  matters  worse,  Murat 
and  Beauharnais  were  the  only  foreign  representatives 
who  did  not  hasten  to  recognise  the  new  sovereign  ; 
for  the  rising  of  Aranjuez  and  the  abdication  of  Charles 
had  not  been  anticipated  by  Napoleon.  His  plan  had 
been  to  frighten  the  whole  of  the  royal  family  away 
to  America,  and  then  to  take  Spain  as  he  had  done 
Portugal  ;  and  the  establishment  of  a  new  popular 
monarch  on  the  throne  did  not  suit  him.  When  he 
1  received  the  news  at  St.  Cloud  he  confessed  this,  and 
denounced  Fernando  as  an  undutiful  usurper  whom 
he  would  never  recognise.  But  this  did  not  mean 
that  he  would  help  the  dispossessed  father.     On  the 

lil'URAf  IN  MADRID.  IO3 

(Contrary  he  told  Izquierdo,  his  obedient  tool,  the  day 
afterwards,  that  the  events  in  Spain  had  relieved  him 
of  all  treaty  obligations  towards  her ;  and  on  the 
very  same  day  he  wrote  to  his  brother  Louis  in 
Holland,  offering  him  the  crown  of  Spain,  which 
Louis  refused. 

On  the  day  following  that  on  which  Charles  had 
signed  his  abdication,  the  fear  and  trouble  past, 
he  endeavoured  to  impose  conditions  upon  the  new 
King  as  to  his  policy,  and  as  to  his  own  future. 
Fernando  and  his  friends  would  not  hear  of  it,  and 
Charles  and  his  spirited  wife  began  to  realise  for 
the  first  time  that,  by  a  stroke  of  the  pen  in  a 
moment  of  terror,  they  had  been  reduced  to  persons 
of  no  importance.  Then  came  indignant  reaction 
against  their  son,  and  the  foolish  king  consulted 
the  French  general  Monthion,  Murat's  chief  of  the 
staff,  who  had  just  entered  Aranjuez.  The  result 
was  the  signing  of  a  private  withdrawal  of  the 
abdication,  on  the  ground  that  it  had  been  ex- 
torted by  force.  This  miserable  vacillation  and 
weakness  exactly  suited  Napoleon,  who  was  thus 
able  to  play  off  the  father  against  the  son  to  the 
discredit  of  the  latter  ;  and  in  this  he  was  aided  by 
the  undignified  letter  in  which  Charles  conveyed  to 
him  his  protest  against  the  abdication.  The  King  of 
Spain  "hastens  to  place  himself  in  the  hands  of  a 
great  monarch,  his  ally,  subordinating  himself  totally 
to  the  will  of  the  only  person  who  can  give  happiness 
to  him,  his  family  and  his  faithful  vassals.  ...  I 
was,"  he  wrote,  "  forced  to  abdicate,  but  with  the 
fullest  confidence  now  in  the  magnanimity  and  genius 


of  the  great  man  who  has  ever  shown  himself  my 
friend,  I  have  resolved  to  conform  in  everything  with 
whatever  this  great  man  may  order  with  regard  to  us, 
to  my  fate,  and  that  of  the  Queen,  and  the  Prince  of 
the  Peace."  Napoleon  must  have  thought  when  he 
received  this  cringing  letter  that  circumstances  were 
positively  inviting  him  to  make  use  of  such  a  royal 
family  as  this  for  his  own  ends.  Worse  still  were 
the  letters  from  Charles  and  his  wife  to  Murat  in 
Madrid,  humbly  protesting  that  they  and  Godoy,  and 
not  Fernando,  were  the  real  friends  of  the  French; 
offering  to  make  the  country  submit  to  Napoleon, 
and  outbidding  the  new  King  in  professions  of 
attachment  and  obedience  to  the  great  man  in  whose 
hands  they  placed  their  country  and  themselves. 
Meanness  and  servility  could  go  no  further,  and 
unmerited  as  were  the  subsequent  sufferings  of  the 
Spanish  people,  the  miserable  royal  famil}^  deserved 
all  that  befell  them. 

Almost    the    first    regal    act    of     Fernando    VII. 
was    to    recall    Urquijo,     Cabarrus,    Jovellanos,    and 
all   those   who    had    suffered    from    the    enmity    of 
Godoy.     Escoiquiz    was    summoned    at    once    from 
his    stall    in    Toledo    to    be    made    a    Councillor   of 
State  ;  and  the  Dukes  of  Infantado  and  San  Carlos 
left    their    exile    to    guide  the  decisions  of  the  new 
sovereign.     The    shallow    and    inflated    Churchman, 
Escoiquiz,  an    infatuated  admirer   of  Napoleon,   and 
himself   a   man  of  no  ability    or    knowledge  of  the 
world,  was  perhaps  the  worst  adviser  that  could  have  '■ 
been  chosen,  whilst  the  two  dukes  were  weak,  showy 
men,  unable    to    counteract  his  evil   influence.     The 


earliest  measures  of  the  new  monarch  were  manily 
towards  the  abrogation  of  the  unimportant  but 
unpopular  local  regulations  decreed  by  the  late 
government ;  but  the  suspension  of  the  sale  of  the 
seventh  part  of  the  ecclesiastical  properties  for  the 
State  service,  authorised  by  the  Pope,  proved  that 
Fernando  looked  to  reaction  rather  than  to  reform  for 
support.  In  this,  perhaps,  he  was  wise,  for,  as  we 
have  seen,  the  mass  of  the  people,  sunk  in  ignorance 
and  enchained  in  priestly  bonds,  had  little  sympathy 
with  the  more  enlightened  views  of  their  travelled  and 
better  educated  countrymen.  In  any  case  the  growing 
effervescence  of  the  public  at  the  presence  and  attitude 
of  the  French  troops,  and  the  intrigues  of  the  royal 
family,  prevented  any  attention  whatever  from  being 
paid  to  internal  measures. 

The  wonder-loving  people  of  Madrid  were  kept 
on  the  tenterhooks  of  expectation  with  the  stories 
of  the  expected  arrival  of  Napoleon  to  visit  the  new 
king.  Murat  lost  no  opportunity  of  adding  to  the 
excitement;  apartments  in  the  palace  were  arranged 
for  the  Emperor's  reception,  advance  baggage,  said 
to  belong  to  him,  was  ostentatiously  received,  even 
his  hat  and  boots  were  shown  to  the  gaping  citi- 
zens ;  but  in  the  meanwhile  Murat  held  himself 
personally  aloof  from  Fernando,  and  carried  on  a 
close  correspondence  with  the  old  King  and  Queen 
through  Monthion.  Charles,  under  his  influence, 
had  signed  the  protest  against  the  abdication,  to 
which  reference  has  been  made  ;  and  the  subsequent 
deference  with  which  the  old  King  and  his  wife  in 
their  abandonment  by  their  own  people  were  treated 

io6  A  d/stracTed  royal  family. 

by  the  French  generals,  doubtless  suggested  to  them, 
as  it  was  intended  to  do,  a  hope  that  by  the  power  of 
Napoleon  their  full  dignity  might  be  restored  to  them, 
Godoy  saved,  and  their  undutiful  son  punished. 
Fernando,  too,  was  made  to  think  that  something  of 
this  soi"t  might  happen,  and  his  evil  advisers,  Escoiquiz 
particularly,  began  to  whisper  that  he  must  take  care 
to  propitiate  the  Emperor  before  the  latter  could  be 
influenced  in  favour  of  Charles. 

Napoleon  had  already  set  out  for  the  Spanish 
frontier,  and  if  he  had  been  able  to  frighten  the 
royal  family  away  to  America,  as  he  intended,  he 
would  no  doubt  have  proceeded  at  once  to  Madrid; 
but  the  elevation  of  Fernando  had  altered  his  plans, 
and  although  the  pretence  of  his  coming  was  kept 
up,  his  real  object  now  was  to  work  upon  the 
dissensions  of  Charles  and  his  son  until  they  both 
placed  themselves  in  his  hands.  With  this  end  in 
view,  Murat  suggested  that  Fernando  should  travel 
north  for  the  purpose  of  meeting  and  welcoming  the 
Emperor  into  his  dominions.  Escoiquiz,  blind  and 
foolish  in  his  admiration  for  the  French,  approved  of 
the  idea,  as  a  means  also  of  forwarding  Fernando*s 
marriage  with  a  Bonaparte  ;  but  it  was  felt  that  for 
the  new  King  to  leave  his  capital  at  such  a  juncture 
would  be  imprudent,  and  it  was  decided  at  first  to 
send  his  younger  brother,  Don  Carlos,  who  left 
Madrid  on  the  5th  of  April,  with  the  idea  of  meeting 
the  imperial  guest  at  Burgos.  But  Don  Carlos  found 
no  Napoleon  at  Burgos,  and  some  of  Fernando's 
ministers,  particularly  Cevallos,  began  to  doubt. 
Murat   was  not  a  great  diplomatist,  and    Napoleon 


would  brook  no  opposition  to  his  plans  ;  so  General 
Savary  was  sent  post  haste  to  bring  Fernando  into 
France  by  fair  means  or  foul.  He  saw  the  young 
King  immediately  on  his  arrival  in  Madrid,  and  told 
him  that  the  Emperor  only  wished  to  know  whether 
his  policy  towards  France  was  to  be  the  same  as  that 
of  his  father,  in  which  case  he  would  recognise  him  as 
king,  and  refrain  from  all  future  interference  in  the 
government  of  Spain.  Fernando  was  overjoyed  and 
gratified.  All  he  wanted  was  Napoleon's  recognition, 
and  here  it  was  on  easy  terms.  Savary  suggested  that 
as  Napoleon  was  even  then  expected  at  Bayonne  it 
would  be  only  a  polite  attention  for  Fernando  to  meet 
him  at  Burgos.  Flattery,  promises  and  professions  of 
eternal  friendship  at  last  prevailed,  and  in  spite  of 
warnings  of  treachery,  in  spite  of  the  alarm  of  his 
people,  in  spite  of  the  growing  arrogance  of  the 
French,  Fernando  set  out  from  Madrid  to  meet  his 
imperial  guest  on  the  lOth  of  April.  With  him  went 
Escoiquiz,  Infantado,  San  Carlos,  Cevallos,  and  a 
large  suite ;  and  a  supreme  board  of  government  was 
constituted  to  act  for  him  in  his  absence  in  all  urgent 
matters.  At  the  head  of  this  Junta  was  placed  his 
uncle,  the  Infante  Don  Antonio,  a  silly,  weak-minded, 
bigoted  old  man  ;  the  other  members  being  the  Prime 
Minister  Cevallos,  who,  however,  accompanied  the 
King  ;  Gil  y  Lemus,  Minister  of  Marine  ;  Azanza, 
Minister  of  Finance ;  O'Farril,  Minister  of  War ; 
Piiluela,  Minister  of  Justice,  and  a  few  other  chosen 

Through  Spain  Fernando  travelled  amidst  a  popu- 
lation  burning  with   love  and  loyalty  to  him.     If  he 


or  his  blind  advisers  had  made  a  stand,  even  now,  a 
whole  nation  would  have  laid  down  their  lives  for  him 
and  for  the  independence  of  Spain  ;  as  Napoleon 
clearly  saw  when  he  first  heard  of  his  accession  ^  ; 
but  there  was  no  dignity,  no  patriotism,  no  honour  in 
Fernando  or  his  miserable  family,  and  Savary  lured 
him  on  from  Burgos  to  Vitoria.  There  the  alarm  of 
his  friends  grew  acute,  and  they  resisted  his  further 
advance,  but  he  was  too  near  now  for  Napoleon  to  let 
him  go.  Seeing  that  Savary  could  not  alone  prevail 
upon  the  young  King  to  proceed  further,  the  Emperor 
himself  wrote  a  letter  which  should  have  opened  the 
eyes  of  the  dullest.  In  haughty  and  vague  language 
he  treated  Fernando's  claims  to  the  crown  as  being  in 
his  hands  to  decide,  and  went  to  the  insulting  length 
of  saying — "  You  have  no  other  rights  than  those 
transmitted  by  your  mother."  Savary,  too,  swore  by 
his  head  that  Napoleon  would  recognise  him  as  King 
of  Spain  the  moment  he  saw  him  in  Bayonne,  but  not 
otherwise  ;  Savary  had,  indeed,  orders  to  carry  him 
off  by  force  if  all  else  failed.  In  vain  loyal  Spaniards 
proposed  to  Fernando  rescue  or  flight.  Blind  to  all 
warnings,  he  decided  to  cross  the  frontier  ;  the  people 
of  Vitoria  threw  themselves  before  his  coach,  cut  his 
horses'  traces,  and  with  tears  begged  him  to  remain. 
In  I  run  the  Spanish  garrison  offered  to  carry  him 
away  in  safety  in  spite  of  the  French.  All  in  vain  ! 
P'ernando,  with  his  brother  Carlos,  crossed  the 
Bidasoa  on  the  20th  of  April  and  stood  on  French 

'  See  his  letter  to  Murat,  29th  of  March,  in  Toreno's  "  Historia  de 
la  Revolution  de  Espana.'"' 


No  representative  of  the  Emperor  came  to  greet 
him.  no  honours  were  paid  to  him  ;  a  few  miles  further 
on  he  met  the  three  Spanish  grandees  whom  he  had 
sent  to  welcome  Napoleon,  and  from  them  he  heard 
the  ominous  tidings  that  the  Emperor  that  morning 
had  declared  in  their  presence  that  no  Bourbon 
should  ever  again  reign  in  Spain.  It  was  too  late  for 
repentance,  and  Fernando  entered  Bayonne  virtually 
a  prisoner  on  the  2 1st  of  April,  1808.  For  a  few 
hours  there  was  still  room  for  hope.  Napoleon 
embraced  his  guest,  entertained  him  at  dinner,  and 
himself  accompanied  him  to  his  lodgings.  But  no 
sooner  was  Fernando  alone  than  Savary  came  with  a 
message  from  his  master  to  the  effect  that  the  latter 
had  irrevocably  decided  to  overturn  the  Bourbon 
dynasty  in  Spain  and  substitute  his  own,  and  that 
Fernando  must  sign  a  renunciation  of  the  crown  for 
himself  and  all  his  family.  Anger  and  dismay  at 
once  reigned  amongst  trapped  Fernando  and  his 
court.  Escoiquiz — the  little  Ximenez,  as  Napoleon 
mockingly  called  him — was  beside  himself  with  rage 
at  the  way  in  which  they  had  been  tricked,  and  in  his 
long  conferences  with  the  Emperor  and  his  agent,  the 
Bishop  of  Poitiers,  persisted  in  refusing  in  his  master's 
name  to  comply  with  the  demand,  as  did  Cevallos  and 
Fernando  himself.  After  three  days  of  quarrels  and 
mutual  recrimination  Fernando  was  astounded  to 
receive  a  message  from  the  Emperor  to  the  effect 
that  he  would  treat  with  him  no  more :  the  King  of 
Spain  was  expected  to  arrive  at  Bayonne  the  next 
day,  and  doubtless  he  would  be  more  amenable  than 
the  Prince  of  Asturias. 


Murat  had  found  it  a  much  simpler  matter  to  trans- 
port the  old  King  and  Queen  into  France  than  their 
son.  He  had  begun  by  complaining  to  the  Junta  of 
.the  constant  attacks  upon  his  men  by  the  populace  of 
Madrid  ;  and  had  then  announced  that  he  recognised 
no  King  of  Spain  but  Charles,  whose  return  to  the 
throne  he  intimated.  Already  Murat  had  taken 
Godoy  away  from  the  custody  of  the  Junta  and  had 
conveyed  him,  guarded  by  French  soldiers,  to 
Bayonne,  and  it  was  easy  for  him  now  to  persuade 
Charles  and  wife  to  follow  their  favourite.  Under  his 
guidance  Charles  wrote  to  his  brother  Antonio,  pre- 
sident of  the  Junta  in  Madrid,  that  his  abdication  had 
been  forced  from  him  and  was  void  ;  and  that  he,  as 
King,  confirmed  the  Junta  in  their  office  during  his 
approaching  absence  on  a  visit  to  his  ally  the 
Emperor  of  the  French.  On  the  25th  of  April  the 
credulous  old  King,  with  his  wife  and  Godoy's 
daughter,  left  the  Escorial,  escorted  by  armed  French- 
men, to  follow  his  son  over  the  Pyrenees,  drawn  by 
the  same  bait  that  had  lured  Fernando,  namely,  the 
recognition  of  his  sovereignty  by  Napoleon.  The 
artfully  promoted  dissensions  between  father  and  son, 
the  ambition,  undutifulness,  self-indulgence,  and  folly 
of  both  sides  had  ended  in  this  :  that  the  old  King 
and  his  two  next  heirs  were  in  the  hands  of  the 
unscrupulous  tyrant  who  had  befooled  them  ;  whilst 
Spain,  abandoned,  unarmed,  and  disorganised,  lay 
apparently  an  easy  prey  to  the  hundred  thousand 
disciplined  foreigners  who  swaggered  insolently  on 
her  soil. 

In   Madrid   matters  had  been  going  rapidly  from 


bad  to  worse.  The  people,  alarmed  and  dismayed  at 
the  deportation  of  Fernando,  and  at  the  growing 
insolence  of  the  French  troops,  were  ready  at  any 
moment  to  turn  upon  their  unwelcome  guests.  On> 
the  20th  of  April  the  crisis  nearly  came.  The  French 
officials,  in  defiance  of  Murat's  promise  to  the  Junta, 
ordered  the  Spanish  court  printer  to  print  a  procla- 
mation signed  by  Charles  IV.  as  King,  and  the  news 
aroused  the  rage  of  the  populace.  With  great 
difficulty  the  Junta  appeased  the  threatened  rising, 
and  set  at  liberty  the  two  French  officers  who  had 
been  arrested  ;  but  the  people  knew  now  beyond  doubt 
that  the  P'renchmen  were  the  enemies  of  their  adored 
Fernando,  and  would  fain  fasten  again  upon  Spain 
the  bonds  of  the  Choricero  and  the  Queen.  And  not 
in  Madrid  alone  was  the  dangerous  excitement  grow- 
ing. In  Toledo,  Burgos,  and  elsewhere  formidable 
riots  took  place  which  were  suppressed  by  the  over- 
nhelming  presence  of  the  French  troops  ;  and  in  the 
meanwhile  the  weak  and  timid  Junta  in  Madrid, 
which  had  been  authorised  by  Fernando  on  his 
recognition  of  Napoleon's  treachery  to  act  as  a  council 
of  regency  during  his  absence,  were  beset  with  doubts 
and  fears  unending  :  not  daring,  on  the  one  hand,  to 
withstand  the  growing  demands  of  impetuous  Murat, 
or,  on  the  other,  to  disregard  Fernando,  and  act  boldly 
for  the  public  benefit  to  the  best  of  their  ability. 
Thus,  whilst  they  gave  at  Murat's  bidding  authority 
for  certain  Spanish  deputies  chosen  by  him  to  go 
to  Bayonne  and  discuss  with  Napoleon  the  future 
government  of  Spain,  they  dispatched  envoy-s  of 
their  own  to  Fernando  begging  him  to   send  them 


orders  as  to  the  policy  they  themselves  were  to 

In  the  face  of  this  utter  confusion  and  inepti- 
.tude  on  the  part  of  the  Spaniards  the  French  were 
strong,  united,  and  decided.  Twenty-five  thousand 
French  troops  were  in  or  near  the  capital,  and  a 
strong  force  of  artillery  occupied  the  open  space  ot 
the  Retiro.  At  every  dominating  point  around  the 
city  brigades  were  posted  ;  approach  on  all  sides  was 
held  by  the  intruders,  whilst  the  total  number  of 
Spanish  troops  in  the  neighbourhood  did  not  reach 
3,000,  men  who  were  closely  confined  to  their  barracks ; 
and  Murat  took  care  by  constant  manoeuvres  and 
ostentatious  parades  to  impress  their  powerlessness 
upon  the  people.  Such  a  state  of  tension  could  not  in 
the  nature  of  things  last  long,  and  on  Sunday,  the  1st 
of  May,  whilst  Murat  and  a  brilliant  staff  rode  from 
Mass  through  the  Puerta  del  Sol,  a  storm  of  hisses 
greeted  them.  The  immediate  reason  for  this  was  an 
order  given  to  the  Junta  in  the  name  of  Charles  IV. 
on  the  previous  day  for  the  Queen  of  Etruria  and  the 
Infante  Don  Francisco  de  Paula,  the  only  two  children 
of  the  old  King  left  in  Spain,  to  proceed  to  Bayonne. 
After  some  resistance  the  Junta,  convinced  of  the 
impossibility  of  withstanding  the  French,  were  forced 
to  consent,  and  it  was  arranged  that  the  Princess  and 
her  young  brother  should  leave  in  the  morning  of  the 
2nd  of  May,  a  day  thenceforward  for  ever  to  be  held 
as  the  greatest  in  the  annals  of  Spain. 

All  through  the  spring  night  the  poorer  quarters  of 
the  city  were  alive  with  unquiet  folk,  and  as  soon  as 
dawn  broke  the  people  flocked  down  the  Calle  Mayor 

THE   ''DOS    DE   MAYO.  II3 

into  the  great  open  sjDace  in  front  of  the  royal  palace 
standing  high  on  its  bluff,  from  which  could  be  seen 
the  tawny  landscape  stretching  away  westerly  for 
leagues  to  the  foot  of  the  snowy  Guadarramas. 
It  was  said  that  the  princess  and  the  little  prince, 
and  even  foolish  old  Don  Antonio,  were  to  be  taken 
away  by  force,  and  as  the  crowd  swelled  to  a  vast 
multitude  so  the  anger  grew  against  the  false 
gabacJios  who  had  kidnapped  their  beloved  Fernando 
and  would  take  his  youngest  brother  too.  At  nine 
o'clock  in  the  morning  three  travelling  carriages 
appeared  before  the  door  of  the  palace,  and  a 
sympathising  royal  lackey  told  those  near  him 
that  the  little  Infante  Francisco  was  weeping  at 
the  thought  of  going  away.  Sobs  and  lamenta- 
tions of  women,  curses  of  men,  broke  forth  at  this 
cruelty  to  an  innocent  child.  The  Queen  of  Etruria 
and  her  children  might  go,  as  they  did,  without 
hindrance,  for  she  was  unpopular  and  friendly  with 
Murat,  but  there  were  two  carriages  still  at  the  door, 
which  the  crowd  said  were  for  the  Infantes.  As  this 
was  being  discussed  one  of  Murat's  aides-de-camp 
rode  up  to  the  palace  to  learn  what  was  passing,  and 
simultaneously  with  his  appearance  a  woman  in  the 
crowd  screamed,  "  They  are  taking  them  away  from 
us ! "  As  if  by  magic  the  cry  changed  sullen  dis- 
content to  ungovernable  fury,  and  with  one  accord 
the  French  officer  and  his  escort  were  set  upon  by  the 
mob.  Some  Spanish  Walloon  Guards  endeavoured 
to  protect  them,  but  all  were  on  the  point  of  being 
slaughtered  when  a  patrol  of  French  troops  appeared 
on  the  scene  and  they  were  with  difficulty  rescued 



Murat's  quarters  were  only  a  few  minutes'  away  on 
the  heights  of  St.  Vincent  overlooking  the  other 
end  of  the  palace,  and  the  news  soon  reached  him. 

The  riot  was  the  spontaneous  outbreak  of  an 
unarmed  mob,  and  might  have  been  as  easily  sup- 
pressed by  the  authority  of  the  Junta,  as  was  that  of 
the  2ist  of  April;  but  Murat  understood  that  the 
time  had  arrived  for  terrorising  the  Spanish  people 
into  obedience  once  for  all,  and  the  attack  upon  his 
aide-de-camp  gave  him  an  opportunity  not  to  be 
missed.  Whilst  the  crowd  were  busy  disabling  the 
travelling  carriages  a  large  body  of  French  troops 
with  two  cannon  occupied  the  sides  of  the  square  in 
which  the  multitude  was  closely  packed,  and  without 
notice  poured  into  the  mass  a  murderous  musketry 
and  artillery  fire.  Shrieks  and  groans  mingled  with 
shouts  of  rage  as  the  survivors  endeavoured  to  escape. 
Those  who  succeeded  in  doing  so  rushed  up  the 
Calle  Mayor,  and  dispersing  in  all  directions  carried 
the  news  through  the  city.  The  long  pent-up  fury 
of  a  brave  and  ardent  people  against  the  insolent 
foreigner  blazed  out  irresistibly.  There  was  no 
thought  of  the  utter  disproportion  between  a  disor- 
ganised rabble  of  civilians  and  the  seasoned  soldiers 
of  Napoleon  :  armed  only  with  such  poor  weapons 
as  they  could  obtain — cudgels,  ox-goads,  trade-knives, 
and  the  like,  with  here  and  there  an  ancient  blunder- 
buss or  superannuated  sword — the  groups  flocked 
down  the  narrow  streets  of  the  ancient  burgh  killing 
every  stray  French  soldier  who  failed  to  surrender 
and  beg  for  mercy. 

The  great   parallelogram    of  the    Puerta   del   Sol 

THE   "  DOS   DE   MA  YO"  I  I  5 

with  its  paltry  church  of  the  Buen  Suceso  at  one  end 
was,  as  usual,  the  focus  of  excitement.  Down  the 
nine  thoroughfares  which  debouch  into  it  swept  an 
ever-increasing  multitude  filled  with  but  one  thought 
— hatred  of  the  gabacho.  The  solid  wall  of  people 
desperately  resisted,  although  with  cruel  loss,  repeated 
cavalry  and  infantry  charges  by  the  French  troops 
approaching  from  the  palace  quarter  down  the  Calle 
Mayor  and  Calle  del  Arenal ;  but,  by  and  by,  the  big 
guns  were  brought  from  the  Prado  and  posted  in  the 
Calle  de  Alcala  and  Carrera  de  San  Geronimo  at  the 
opposite  end  of  the  parallelogram,  so  as  to  command 
the  whole  space,  and  soon  a  hail  of  grape-shot 
strewed  the  cobble  stones  with  dead  and  dying, 
whilst  the  charges  of  the  savage  Mamelukes  and 
Poles  from  the  opposite  end  spread  dismay  amongst 
the  people.  Soon  the  word  passed  from  one  to 
another  that  artillery  must  be  met  with  artillery,  and 
that  up  in  the  old  artillery  barracks  in  the  north  of 
the  town  at  least  there  were  some  big  guns  and 
ammunition.  It  is  true  that  the  place  was  held  by  a 
French  force,  and  that  the  Spanish  troops  had  been 
strictly  forbidden  by  the  Junta  to  act  in  any  way 
against  the  intruders  :  the  mob  cared  for  nothing  now 
but  vengeance ;  and  trooping  up  the  streets  that  led 
to  the  artillery  post,  soon  a  vast  multitude  of  people 
stood  before  the  closed  gates  of  the  barrack  and 
demanded  admittance. 

They  were  thus  clamouring,  without  plan  or 
organisation,  only  impelled  by  blind  fury,  when  there 
stepped  forth  to  the  front  one  of  those  leaders  of  men 
produced  by  great  crises.     He  was  a  captain  on  the 


artillery  staff  named  Velarde,  who  had  collected  a 
small  company  of  State  Volunteers  on  his  way,  and 
now  called  upon  his  countrymen  inside  the  barrack 
to  support  the  people  against  the  foreign  foe.  At  his 
demand  the  seventy  Frenchmen  surrendered  and  were 
disarmed.  There  were  only  fourteen  Spanish  artillery- 
men in  the  post,  and  these  at  first  hesitated  to  disobey 
the  orders  of  the  Government.  But  they  were  soon 
overborne  by  the  popular  enthusiasm,  and  their 
commander,  Don  Luis  Daoiz,  tearing  up  and 
trampling  upon  the  orders  of  the  Junta,  threw  in 
his  lot  with  his  comrade  Velarde.  Small-arms  and 
ammunition  were  distributed  as  quickly  as  might  be 
to  the  eager  people,  who  scattered  on  every  side  to 
shoot  down  gabachos ;  and  the  five  cannons  in  the 
barrack  yard  were  dragged  out  and  placed  in  strate- 
gical positions  in  front  of  the  gate.  There  the  two 
brave  artillery  captains  and  all  those  who  remained 
around  them  solemnly  swore  to  fight  the  intruder 
until  they  died  ;  and  the  great  cry  went  up  "  Death 
to  the  French,  and  long  live  Fernando ! "  Ammu- 
nition was  short ;  already  the  advancing  hosts  of 
Frenchmen  could  be  heard,  death  was  almost  certain 
for  all,  but  none  flinched.  Whilst  the  artillerymen 
hastily  manufactured  cartridges,  the  rough  work  of 
the  gunnery  was  done  by  civilians,  men  and  women 
too,  equally  eager  for  vengeance  and  patriotic  sacrifice. 
Attack  after  attack  from  the  French  was  repulsed 
by  this  little  band  of  heroes  ;  but  at  length  General 
Lagrange  with  a  force  of  4,000  men  and  many 
cannon  attacked  the  old  barrack  from  all  sides. 
Over  and  over  again  they  had  to  fall  back  and  still 

THE    "DOS   DE   MAYO.  117 

more  troops  were  sent  up  by  Murat,  but  yet  the  post 
held  out.  All  the  Spanish  artillerymen  had  fallen  by 
this  time,  and  Daoiz  was  sorely  wounded,  whilst  heaps 
of  civilian  slain  cumbered  the  working  of  the  guns  ; 
the  only  projectiles  were  gun-flints  and  stones,  but  still 
the  people  fought  on.  At  length  Lagrange  advanced 
with  a  white  flag  and  asked  for  parley.  But  peaceful 
parley  with  Daoiz  soon  changed  to  quarrel,  and  before 
them  all  the  two  leaders  fought,  Lagrange  receiving  a 
wound.  Then  the  French  general's  infuriated  escort 
of  grenadiers  cast  themselves  upon  Daoiz  and  killed 
him  with  bayonet  thrusts,  disabled  as  he  was  already. 
Upon  this  a  host  of  Frenchmen  poured  in,  and  the 
Spaniards,  soldiers  and  civilians,  back  to  back  fought 
with  the  foe  until  most  of  them  had  died  in  fulfilment 
of  their  oath.  When,  at  last,  the  few  survivors  sur- 
rendered, Madrid  lay  at  the  mercy  of  Murat. 

The  terrified  Junta  prayed  the  conqueror  to  stay  the 
slaughter;  and  General  O'Farril  undertook  to  calm  his 
countrymen.  Through  the  streets  the  agents  of  the 
Junta  went  reassuring  the  people.  "  It  was  all  settled," 
they  said  ;  "  it  was  nothing  but  a  mistake,"  and  so 
on,  and  the  blood-stained  city  sank  to  muttering 
quietude  during  the  early  hours  of  the  afternoon, 
though  all  the  streets  were  still  commanded  by  French 
cannon  and  the  mounted  Mamelukes  held  the  Puerta 
del  Sol.  Suddenly  a  discharge  of  musketry  rang  out, 
and  like  lightning  the  news  sped  that  Spaniards 
were  being  captured  as  they  went  on  their  way,  and 
were  being  summarily  executed  in  the  courtyard  of 
the  church  of  Buen  Suceso,  and  in  the  open  place  of 
the  Puerta  del  Sol.     On  pretext  that  they  bore  arms, 


though  it  were  only  a  pair  of  scissors,  peaceful  citizens 
were  taken  by  the  hundred,  and  all  through  the  dismal 
day,  and  far  into  the  night,  the  carnage  went  on. 
Without  form  of  trial  General  Grouchy  condemned  all 
those  upon  whom  the  faintest  breath  of  suspicion  could 
rest.  Bound  to  the  stirrups  of  the  Mamelukes  they 
were  led  to  the  Prado,  or  to  the  heights  near  Murat's 
quarters,  and  there  shot. 

The  next  morning  the  terrified  townsmen  read 
on  their  walls  a  proclamation  of  Murat  decreeing 
vengeance  for  the  French  blood  shed.  "  Every 
armed  person  shall  be  shot.  Every  place  where  a 
Frenchman  has  been  killed  shall  be  burnt  to  the 
ground.  Any  assembly  of  more  than  eight  persons 
will  be  regarded  as  seditious,  and  scattered,"  and  the 
cowed  Madrileiios  understood  that  force  and  not 
law  was  master.  Murat  had  for  the  moment  won  the 
day.  The  people  were  crushed  ;  the  little  Infante 
Francisco  was  already  on  his  way  to  Bayonne  ;  and 
on  the  morning  of  the  4th  the  Infante  Antonio, 
President  of  the  Junta,  whose  poor  wits  had  almost 
given  way  under  the  stress  of  his  position,  gladly 
turned  his  back  upon  Madrid  and  went  to  follow  the 
rest  of  his  family  into  exile.  The  man  was  a  besotted 
fool  at  best,  but  the  heartlessness  of  his  farewell  to  his 
colleagues  in  the  Government  showed  that  he  was  as 
selfish  and  brutal  as  most  of  his  family.  In  grammar 
that  would  have  disgraced  a  child,  he  wrote :  "  For 
the  guidance  of  the  Junta  I  let  it  know  how  I  have 
gone  to  Bayonne  by  order  of  the  King,  and  I  tell  the 
Junta  to  go  on  just  the  same  as  if  I  was  in  it.  God 
send  us  good  quittance.     Adieu,  Sir,  until  the  valley  of 


Jehosephat. — Antonio  Pascual."  No  word  of  regret 
or  sorrow  for  the  brave  Spaniards  who  had  fallen  for 
love  of  his  unworthy  house  ;  no  sense  of  patriotic 
duty  to  the  people  who  were  sacrificing  all  for  him 
and  his.  And  so  the  last  Bourbon  but  one  slunk  out 
of  the  country  amidst  the  scorn  and  derision  of  all 
men,  and  Spain,  abandoned  and  deserted,  was  left  to 
fight  out  her  own  salvation. 

The  rising  of  the  2nd  of  May  and  afterwards 
was  purely  popular.  With  very  few  exceptions  the 
nobles,  officials,  civil  and  military,  and  higher  classes 
generall}.-,  either  stood  aloof,  or  effusively  rallied  to 
the  foreign  intruder.  But  base  as  was  the  conduct  of 
the  ruling  elements  in  Spain  itself  in  this  supreme 
moment  of  national  history,  it  was  dignified  and 
patriotic  in  comparison  with  the  behaviour  of  the 
royal  family  in  Bayonne.  The  welcome  of  Charles  IV. 
and  his  wife  by  the  Emperor  formed  a  great  contrast 
with  the  contemptuous  reception  that  had  been 
extended  to  Fernando.  Salutes,  guards  of  honour, 
and  fcHX  de  joie  accompanied  the  old  King  and 
Queen  from  the  frontier  to  Bayonne,  for  they  were 
unpopular  and  impossible  as  sovereigns  of  Spain,  and 
were  easily  influenced  ;  whereas  Fernando  had  the 
nation  at  his  back.  It  was  therefore  to  Napoleon's 
interest  to  ignore  the  right  of  the  latter  and  concen- 
trate his  attentions  on  Charles. 

The  King  arrived  in  a  state  of  burning  indigna- 
tion against  his  son,  whom  he  refused  at  first  to 
see,  except  in  public,  but  his  earliest  inquiry  was 
for  his  dear  Manuel,  and  thenceforward  for  the 
rsst  of  his  life  and   that  of  the   Queen   Godoy  was 


their  constant  and  faithful  companion.  Soon  an  in- 
terview was  arranged  between  the  Emperor,  Charles 
and  Maria  Luisa  and  Fernando  ;  and  in  a  violent 
scene  in  which  the  father  and  mother  loaded  their  son 
with  abuse  and  reproaches,  which  more  than  once 
threatened  to  descend  to  personal  violence.  Napoleon 
and  Charles  insisted  upon  Fernando's  renunciation 
of  the  crown.  At  first  the  young  man  refused  to 
comply — it  is  said  that  he  offered  to  abdicate  on 
certain  conditions,  among  which  was  that  his  father 
and  he  should  together  return  to  Madrid,  though 
that  is  denied  by  Godoy  ;  but  whilst  he  was  sulking 
and  doubting  the  news  of  the  2nd  of  May  arrived 
in  Bayonne.  Napoleon,  in  a  rage,  summoned  the 
Spanish  king  and  his  son.  "  Let  there  be  an  end 
of  dallying  ! "  he  cried,  and  when  Fernando  appeared 
he  roundly  threw  upon  him  the  blame  of  all  that 
had  happened.  Charles  and  Maria  Luisa,  too,  over- 
whelmed the  prince  with  reproaches.  Threatened  with 
death  as  a  traitor  to  his  king,  Fernando,  always  a 
coward,  broke  down,  and  the  next  day.  May  6th, 
Escoiquiz  signed  for  him  an  unconditional  renuncia- 
tion of  the  coveted  crown. 

This  removed  Napoleon's  principal  obstacle,  for 
the  old  King  was  easily  dealt  with.  He  had,  indeed, 
already,  in  anticipation  of  Fernando's  abdication, 
authorised  on  the  previous  evening  the  signature 
by  Godoy  of  a  deed  transferring  the  realm  of  his 
forefathers  to  the  Corsican  upstart  who  had  him 
in  his  power.  By  this  shameful  instrument  Charles 
sets  forth  that  the  dissensions  in  his  family  making 
it    impossible    for    him    to    secure    the   happiness    of 


his  "  faithful  vassals,"  he  transfers  his  sovereignty 
to  the  only  man  capable  of  doing  so,  and  accepts 
in  exchange  from  the  French  treasury  a  pension 
of  ;^300,000  a  year  (out  of  which  he  was  cheated), 
with  the  residences  of  Compiegne  and  Chambord, 
a  perpetual  dotation  of  ^40,000  annually  to  the 
Infantes,  and  free  asylum  in  France  to  the  royal 
family  and  the  Prince  of  the  Peace.  Only  one 
more  renunciation  was  required  to  make  Napoleon's 
triumph  complete.  Fernando  had  resigned  the 
crown  but  he  was  still  Prince  of  i\sturias,  and  the 
renunciation  of  Charles  could  not  rob  him  of  his 
birthright.  But  all  sense  of  dignity  or  resistance  had 
gone  now,  and  on  the  8th  of  May  the  miserable 
Escoiquiz  again  signed  in  Fernando's  name  his 
surrender  of  all  his  rights  to  succeed  to  the  crown  u 
of  Spain  I  in  exchange  for  a  feudatory  landed  estate,  a 
pension  of  ^^40,000  a  year  and  the  rank  in  France  of 
"  Royal  Highness."  Then  Napoleon  had  done  with 
them  all,  and  they  might  go.  The  next  day  old 
Charles,  Maria  Luisa,  their  younger  children  and 
Godoy  started  for  Fontainebleau,  which  they  subse- 
quently left  for  Compiegne,  whilst  Fernando,  his 
brother  Carlos  and  Don  Antonio,  went  to  Talley- 
rand's chateau  of  Valen^ay,  where  they  afterwards 
dwelt.     From     Bordeaux    Fernando    and    the    two 

*  Napoleon  in  one  of  hfe  conversations  in  St.  Helena  confessed  that 
his  ruin  dated  from  his  insisting  upon  the  abdication  of  the  Spanish 
Bourbons.  "But,"  he  added,  "  when  I  saw  those  idiots  quarrelling, 
and  trying  to  oust  each  other,  I  thought  I  well  might  take  advantage  of 
it  to  dispossess  a  family  antagonistic  to  me.  I  did  not  invent  their 
quarrels,  and  if  I  had  known  the  matter  would  have  brought  so  much 
trouVjle  to  me  I  should  never  have  undertaken  it." — Las  Cases. 


Infantes  addressed  a  proclamation  to  the  Spanish 
people,  explaining  that  the  surrender  had  been  made 
in  the  interests  of  the  peace  and  prosperity  of  the 
country,  and  exhorting  them  "  to  look  for  their 
happiness  to  the  wise  dispositions  of  the  Emperor 
Napoleon.  Their  ready  obedience  to  him  will  be 
considered  both  by  the  prince  and  the  two  Infantes 
{i.e.,  Carlos  and  Antonio)  as  the  greatest  proof  of 
loyalty  to  them  ;  even  as  the  greatest  indication  of 
paternal  affection  is  given  by  their  Highnesses  to  the 
people  when  they  surrender  all  their  rights  in  order 
/  to  make  the  people  happy."  Thus,  in  base  and 
undignified  fashion,  the  Bourbon  rule  in  Spain 
came  to  an  end  and  the  nation  suffered  its  agony 



The  departure  of  the  Bourbon  princes  and  the 
catastrophe  of  the  2nd  of  May  mark  the  end  of 
the  old  era  in  Spain.  Before  we  proceed  to  give  an 
account  of  the  far-reaching  consequences  that  ensued, 
it  will  be  well  to  glance  at  the  condition  of  the  nation 
at  the  time  of  the  outbreak. 

In  a  previous  chapter  it  has  been  shown  how  rapid 
had  been  the  renewed  financial  decadence  of  Spain 
from  the  accession  of  Charles  IV.  to  the  end  of  the 
century,  in  consequence  of  the  wars  resulting  from 
his  policy  towards  France.  The  continued  naval 
struggle  with  England,  which  interrupted  almost  en- 
tirely Spain's  foreign  commerce,  greatly  accentuated 
the  decline  in  the  remaining  years  of  the  reign ;  and 
at  the  time  of  the  abdication  the  public  debt  had 
been  piled  up  to  ;^72,ooo,ooo  sterling,  three-quarters  of 
which  had  been  raised  upon  onerous  terms  by  Charles 
IV.,  whilst  the  annual  deficit  of  the  national  revenue 
reached  three  and  a  half  millions  sterling.  All  kinds 
of  devices  were  resorted  to  for  the  purpose  of  raising 
money.  Forced  loans,  patriotic  appeals,  charges  on 
special  funds  or  particular  industries,  and  deductions 


124  ^^-S   PENINSULAR    WAR. 

from  State  payments  kept  all  classes  discontented, 
and  mainly  caused  the  unpopularity  of  Godoy. 
Amongst  other  experiments  were  a  tax  of  50  per 
cent,  on  incomes  of  foreigners  in  Spain,  the  re- 
imposition  of  the  alcabala  of  14  per  cent,  on  foreign 
goods,  income-taxes  ranging  from  4  to  1 5  per  cent., 
succession  dues  from  3  to  25  per  cent.,  taxes 
on  carriages,  taverns,  hotels,  milliners'  shops, 
theatres,  &c. ;  and,  above  all,  enormous  and  repeated 
demands  upon  the  funds  of  the  clergy.  The  unrest 
and  want  of  confidence  aroused  by  these  and  other 
similar  experimental  measures  following  no  fixed 
system  naturally  reacted  on  the  state  of  industry  and 
commerce.  We  have  seen  the  strenuous  efforts  of 
Charles  III.  and  his  ministers  to  replant  manufactures 
and  agriculture  in  Spain,  and  the  success  which  had 
attended  them.  Now  under  his  misguided  son  most 
of  this  improvement  was  swept  away.  The  Govern- 
ment still  struggled  hard  to  protect  and  foster  the 
renascent  industries.  Technical  schools  of  botany, 
natural  history,  applied  chemistry,  and  mechanics, 
were  subsidised  heavily :  the  factories  of  cotton,  china, 
glass,  machinery,  buttons,  optical  instruments,  and 
many  others,  still  continued  to  be  patronised  by  the 
State ;  but  the  long  war,  and  the  heavy  burdens  it 
necessitated,  once  more  crushed  most  of  the  life  out 
of  the  laboriously  reared  plant  of  labour ;  and  the 
devastating  struggle  on  Spanish  soil  between  France 
and  England  following  the  events  we  have  recorded, 
completed  the  ruin  already  commenced. 

The  state  of  the  national  defences  in  1808  was  also  as 
deplorable  as  well  can  be  conceived.    The  destructive 

CONDITION   OF  SPAIN  IN    1808.        1 25 

blow  of  Trafalgar  had  left  the  Spanish  navy,  although 
nominally  still  consisting  of  42  ships,  30  frigates,  and 
20  corvettes,  with  hardly  a  vessel  seaworthy  or  fit  to 
cope  with  modern  armaments.  Whilst  this  was  the 
case  with  the  material,  the  personnel  of  the  navy 
was  ridiculously  excessive  both  in  number  and  cost, 
particularly  as  regards  officers.  To  man  ships  which 
could  not  put  to  sea,  to  fire  cannon  that  would  burst 
at  a  discharge,  to  defend  ports  that  were  ruinous 
and  untenable  there  were  on  the  pay-list  of  the  navy 
91  flag-officers,  220  captains,  and  950  lieutenants, 
in  addition  to  engineers,  coast-guards,  pilots,  and 
gunners,  and  no  less  than  70,000  seamen  and  marines 
of  all  ranks.  There  was  a  similar  disproportion  in 
the  land  forces  between  the  nominal  and  effective 
strength.  There  were  supposed  to  be  100,000 
regular  troops  and  40,000  militia ;  but  most  of 
the  equipped  and  serviceable  men  had  been  sent 
away  to  other  countries  to  fight  for  Napoleon,  ^ 
and  those  that  remained,  a  comparatively  few  effec- 
tive men,  were  mainly  in  rags,  unshod,  unpaid,  and 

Whatever  may  be  said,  however,  of  the  disastrous 
foreign  policy  of  Charles  and  his  guide  Godoy,  it  cannot 
be  denied  that  Spain  owed  to  both  King  and  Minister  a 

'  There  were  said  to  be  at  the  time  15,000  Spanish  troops  in 
Denmark,  several  battahons  in  Italy,  and  about  30,000  men  in 
Portugal  and  on  the  frontier;  15,000  were  at  Ceuta,  the  Balearic 
isles  and  the  Canaries,  10,000  at  San  Roque  opposite  Gibraltar,  about 
8, 000  at  Cadiz,  and  a  somewhat  smaller  number  in  Galicia.  These  were 
the  official  figures,  but  the  number  of  serviceable  troops  was  very  much 
smaller.  The  local  militia  was  in  its  normal  condition  little  more 
than  a  paper  force. 


lasting  debt  for  their  constant  efforts  to  raise  the  intel- 
lectual condition  of  the  country.  Mention  has  already 
been  made  of  the  liberal  support  given  by  Godoy  in 
every  part  of  Spain  to  technical  education  and  the  re- 
establishment  of  skilled  handicrafts  begun  by  Aranda 
and  Floridablanca.  In  addition  to  this,  however, 
the  founding  of  Pestalozzian  institutes  and  primary 
schools,  the  systematic  teaching  of  political  economy, 
engineering,  pharmacy,  botany,  &c.,  the  reform  of 
the  medical  schools,  the  organisation  and  registration 
of  the  professions,  the  foundation  of  modern  pro- 
fessorships in  the  universities,  and  the  splendid 
endowment  of  research  in  all  forms,  were  particularly 
conspicuous  under  Godoy's  influence  from  the  com- 
mencement of  the  century  to  his  downfall. ^  The 
classes  who  most  bitterly  opposed  him  were  mainly 
those  who  throve  upon  ignorance,  namely,  the 
ecclesiastics,  the  privileged  classes,  and  the  ignorant 
mob,  who  at  a  subsequent  period  shouted  "  Hurra  for 
chains,  down  with  liberty ! "  but  it  is  undoubted  that 
the  freedom  and  impetus  given  by  Godoy  to  printing, 
and  to  learning  and  literature  generally,  made  of 
this  period  from  1800  to  1808  one  which,  in  the 
matter  of  intellectual  progress  at  least,  was  worthy 

'  It  must  be  also  recollected  to  Godoy's  credit  that  during  all  this 
period  he  was  hampered  by  the  opposition  of  the  principal  nominal 
minister,  Caballero,  the  sworn  enemy  of  intellectual  progress,  \^ho 
was  persistent  in  his  efforts  to  shut  out  books  from  abroad  and  to 
prevent  the  spread  of  enlightenment  in  Spain.  As  has  already  been 
explained,  not  even  Godoy's  influence  could  induce  Charles  to  dismiss 
Caballero.  The  great  drawback  to  Godoy's  fame  in  this  respect  was 
his  banishment  of  Jovellanos,  the  most  illustrious  man  of  letters  of 
his  time,  in  consequence  of  his  political  opposition  to  him. 


of  all   respect ;   and    compared    favourably  with  the 
darkness  of  the  succeeding  years. 

True  to  the  tradition  of  Spanish  literary  form  the 
works  of  imagination  of  this  period  were  still  mainly 
dramatic  and  lyrical.  The  great  Moratin  published 
between  1800  and  1808  his  two  principal  comedies, 
"  El  Si  de  las  Ninas  "  and  "  La  Mogigata,"  the  latter 
of  which,  however,  brought  him  into  trouble  with 
the  Inquisition  (1804),  shortly  before  that  tribunal 
had  to  surrender  its  literary  censorship.  The  poets 
Melendez,  Manuel  Jose  Ouintana,  and  Juan  Nicasio 
Gallego  in  stirring  patriotic  verse  sang  at  the  same 
time  the  past  military  glories  of  their  countrymen, 
and  called  the  nation  to  arms  against  the  intruding 
foreigner  ;  but  the  most  remarkable  literary  develop- 
ment of  the  period  under  review  was  the  profundity 
and  abundance  of  didactic  and  scientific  works.  One 
of  the  greatest  comparative  philologists  the  world 
ever  saw,  the  Jesuit  Lorenzo  Hervas,  the  father  of 
modern  philology,  published  (1800-1805)  his  "  Cata- 
logo  de  las  lenguas  de  las  naciones  conocidas "  ; 
Ledesma  and  Joaquin  Antonio  del  Camino("  Academia 
de  la  Historia,  Memoria,"  vol.  iv.)  brought  out  respec- 
tively works  of  the  highest  interest  on  the  origin  of 
tithes  and  ecclesiastical  tributes  ;  the  Spanish  navy 
found  a  worthy  historian  in  Vargas-Ponce  ;  political 
economy  was  treated  profoundly  by  Escolar,  La 
Ruga,  and  Llaguna  ;  navigation  by  Alcala  Galiano, 
Lopez  Royo,  and  Macarte ;  botany  by  the  celebrated 
Abbe  Cavanilles ;  and  the  history  of  the  Spanish 
stage  by  Pellicer  and  Garcia  Villanueva,  At  the 
same   period   the   daring   brush   of    Goya,  rebelling 


against  the  second-hand  insipidity  of  the  followers 
of  Mengs,  Maella,and  Bayeu,  and  against  the  fashion- 
able hard  classicism  of  David,  founded  a  new  and 
purely  Spanish  school  of  painting  in  which  boldness 
and  naturalness  were  united  once  more  with  per- 
fection of  technique.  The  arts  of  engraving  and 
typography,  too,  were  at  this  time  producing  in  Spain 
results  as  perfect  as  were  to  be  found  anywhere  in 
Europe — Carmona,  Muntaner,  and  Fabregat  were 
executing  plates  which  to  the  present  day  are  con- 
sidered masterpieces  ;  and  the  books  issued  by  the 
press  of  Ibarra,  of  which  the  paper,  type,  and  ink 
were  all  of  Spanish  manufacture,  were  perfect 
specimens  of  their  kind. 

But  both  the  material  progress  initiated  by  Charles 
III.  and  the  intellectual  advancement  which  con- 
tinued under  his  son  were  brought  to  an  end  by  the 
disastrous  events  which  have  been  described  in  the 
preceding  chapters.  Thenceforward  for  years  Spain, 
devastated  by  war,  desolated  by  alien  armed  hosts 
who  fought  out  the  great  issue  of  the  era  on  her 
soil :  ravaged  by  famine,  convulsed  by  internal  dis- 
sension, her  cherished  institutions  overthrown,  and 
her  national  destinies  the  plaything  of  greedy  pre- 
tenders, she  could  only  suffer  and  sacrifice  her  all 
for  the  national  cause. 

The  world  has  rarely  seen  so  magnificent  and' 
spontaneous  an  outbreak  of  patriotism  as  that  which 
sprang  unbidden  from  the  great  mass  of  Spaniards 
on  the  news  of  the  events  of  the  2nd  of  May. 
Rejoicing  at  the  accession  of  Fernando  in  March 
had  been  followed   by  conflicting   emotions   as   the 

THE    UPRISING    OF   THE   NATION.  1 29 

perfidy  of  the  French  and  the  weakness  of  the  royal 
family  became  more  apparent ;  and  by  the  2nd  of 
May  Spain  was  a  great  tinder  heap  waiting  for  the 
spark.  The  news  of  the  heroic  attitude  of  the  people 
of  Madrid  ran  like  wildfire  through  the  country.  In 
a  village  called  Mostoles,  nine  miles  from  the  capital, 
the  mayor  happened  to  be  a  man  of  notable  energ}' 
and  patriotism.  Over  the  southern  provinces  of 
Spain  this  humble  functionary  sent  without  hesitation 
the  fiery  cross,  calling  his  countrymen  to  arms.  On 
swift  horses  the  rousing  message  of  the  Alcalde  de 
Mostoles  was  carried  from  town  to  town.  "  The 
fatherland  is  in  danger,"  it  ran ;  "  Madrid  is  perishing, 
a  victim  of  French  perfidy.  Spaniards !  come  and 
save  her. — The  Alcalde  de  Mostoles."  To  the  north 
also  flew  the  tidings,  and  there  as  elsewhere  the 
sanguinary  decree  of  Murat  was  torn  from  the 
walls  ;  and  everywhere  the  cry  went  up,  "  Long  live 
Fernando  and  death  to  the  French  !  " 

Men,  women,  and  children  partook  of  the  exal- 
tation of  the  moment  and  armed  themselves  as 
well  as  they  might,  attacking  in  many  places  those 
authorities  whom  they  considered  favourable  to  the 
French  or  friends  of  Godoy,  and  at  first  soiling 
the  national  cause  with  acts  of  cruelty  and  violence 
such  as  might  be  expected  of  an  excited  mob. 
But  all  this  soon  changed,  and  with  a  patriotic 
self-restraint  beyond  all  praise  the  people,  unor- 
ganised as  they  were,  concentrated  their  vengeance 
on  the  intruding  foreigner,  for  whom  there  was 
no  truce  or  mercy.  On  the  3rd  of  May  Murat 
boasted   to  the   Minister  of  War,  O'Farril,  that  the 



events  of  the  previous  day  had  delivered  Spain  into 
the  hands  of  the  Emperor.  "  Say  rather,"  replied 
O'Farril,  "  that  they  have  for  ever  deprived  him  of  it." 
And  so  it  proved  ;  although  O'Farril  himself  and 
the  military  and  official  class  to  which  he  belonged 
did  little  to  help  forward  the  consummation. 
Experienced  Spanish  soldiers  looked  upon  the  resis- 
tance of  an  unarmed  and  undisciplined  people  against 
the  swarming  hosts  of  the  Emperor  as  madness  ;  the 
State  officials,  apprehensive  for  their  pay  and 
pensions,  not  unnaturally  leant  to  the  side  of  the 
strongest  and  best  organised  party ;  but  the  middle 
and  lower  classes  throughout  Spain  were  banded  as 
one  man  to  resist  and  destroy  the  intruder  at  any 
cost  to  themselves. 

It  was  in  the  extreme  north-west  corner  of 
Spain  where  first  the  resistance  of  the  people  was 
organised  —  Asturias,  from  which  modern  Spain 
itself  it  had  been  reconquered  from  the  Moors ; 
the  heroic  province  which  had  been  the  last  refuge 
of  Christianity  at  its  lowest  ebb,  rose  again  to  its 
legendary  fame,  and  initiated  a  formal  national  war 
against  the  foreign  invader.  The  provincial  council 
of  Asturias — an  ancient  elective  body  mainly  con- 
cerned in  financial  administration — happened  to  be 
in  session  at  Oviedo,  the  capital.  They  pronounced 
for  the  side  of  the  people  against  the  authorities, 
and  declared  national  war  against  the  French  (25th  of 
May).  The  Spanish  forces  sent  by  Murat  to  crush 
the  revolt  joined  them,  with  the  exception  of  some 
of  the  higher  officers  ;  those  in  Oporto  deserted  their 
French  allies  with  the  same  object,  and  soon  a  dis- 


ciplined  armed  force  of  18,000  men  was  ready  to 
form  a  nucleus  of  the  reconstituted  national  army. 
Murat  promptly  recognised  the  danger.  He  drafted 
the  various  Spanish  regiments  into  French  divisions 
of  greatly  superior  strength.  Three  thousand  Spanish 
soldiers  were  shipped  for  Buenos  Ayres,  and  officers 
upon  whom  he  could  depend  were  placed  near 
General  Solano  and  General  Castafios,  who  com- 
manded the  Spanish  forces  respectively  at  Cadiz  and 
San  Roque.  Wherever  possible  he  took  possession 
of  all  arms  and  ammunition  and  fortified  his  own 
position  in  the  Retiro,  for  it  was  now  evident  that  he 
had  to  deal  with  a  whole  nation  in  arms.  In  all  the 
great  towns  the  local  authorities  were  superseded  by 
revolutionary  councils  of  defence  chosen  from  the 
most  active  and  patriotic  of  the  citizens  :  arms  and 
ammunition  were  seized  by  the  popular  bodies,  in 
many  cases  after  conflict  with  the  State  troops ;  and 
practically  the  whole  male  population  of  the  places 
not  actually  occupied  by  the  French  enlisted  under 
the  national  flag. 

V  It  was  natural  that  those  who  were  thus  absorbed 
in  the  one  overwhelming  idea  of  fighting  the  French 
should  turn  their  eyes  to  the  only  power  which  had 
hitherto  succeeded  in  resisting  Napoleon ;  and  to 
England  the  Council  of  Asturias  sent  a  deputation 
to  pray  for  aid  in  the  national  cause.  Posting  from 
Falmouth  with  all  speed.  Viscount  Matarrosa  (Count 
de  Toreno)  and  his  colleagues  told  their  wonderful 
story  to  Mr.  Wellesley  Pole,  the  Secretary  of  the 
Admiralty,  before  seven  o'clock  in  the  morning  of 
the  8th  of  June.     It  seemed  to  the  listener  too  good 


to  be  true,  although  it  exactly  confirmed  Pitt's 
prediction  made  years  before ;  but  Canning's  clear 
prescience  at  once  recognised  both  its  truth  and  its 
vital  importance ;  and  before  three  days  were  passed 
pledges  of  support  with  all  the  strength  of  Great 
Britain  were  flying  across  the  Bay  of  Biscay  to  the 
sturdy  Asturians,  who  had  taken  the  first  step  in  the 
Peninsular  War.  Not  the  Tory  government  of  the 
Duke  of  Portland  and  Canning  alone  showed  enthu- 
siasm for  the  gallant  stand  made  by  the  Spanish 
people ;  the  Whigs  and  the  English  nation  at  large 
acclaimed  this  accession  to  the  enemies  of  Napoleon, 
and  were  eager  to  help  their  new  allies. 

Arms,  ammunition,  and  army  stores  were  sent  in 
abundance  from  England,  and  in  the  meanwhile  all 
Spain  was  organising  the  defence.  Galicia,  Leon,  and 
the  province  of  Santander  seconded  Asturias,  and 
placed  their  numerous  but  undrilled  levies  under 
officers  of  the  army  or  militia  at  strategical  points  of 
their  territories.  Asturias  and  Galicia  were  moun- 
tainous countries  unoccupied  by  the  French,  and  for  a 
time  were  unassailed,  but  on  the  tableland  of  Castile, 
and  in  places  where  the  French  were  strong,  the 
Spaniards  promptly  learnt  the  difference  between  their 
own  undisciplined  hordes  and  the  seasoned  soldiers 
of  Napoleon.  At  Segovia  and  Logrono  the  French 
soon  suppressed  the  populace,  but  at  Valladolid  and 
other  places  in  Old  Castile  the  authorities  themselves 
headed  the  rising  after  some  pressure,  and  General 
Cuesta,  the  governor,  organised  the  defence  in  a  way 
which  made  it  dangerous  for  the  French  to  attack 
except   with   concentrated    forces.      Cartagena    and 


Valencia  in  the  east  pronounced  early  for  the  conflict, 
and  were  followed  promptly  by  Badajoz  in  the  west. 
Nor  was  Andalusia  in  the  south  far  behind.  In 
Seville,  one  of  the  richest  cities  in  Spain,  a  revolu- 
tionary council  was  elected,  and  the  whole  population 
declared  for  the  national  cause  with  indescribable 
enthusiasm.  Either  from  jealousy  of  the  Council  of 
Asturias,  or  from  local  ambition,  the  Seville  Council 
assumed  the  title  of  Supreme  Council  of  Spain  and 
the  Indies,  and  arrogated  to  itself  sovereign  powers. 
The  position  of  the  city  was  certainly  very  favourable 
for  becoming  a  centre  of  national  defence,  especially 
if  Cadiz  and  San  Roque  would  also  join.  Castanos, 
the  Spanish  general  in  command  at  San  Roque,  had 
already  opened  communications  with  Sir  Hugh 
Dalrymple,  Governor  of  Gibraltar,  and  following 
Seville,  at  once  declared  for  the  revolution  with  his 
8,000  men  ;  but  General  Solano,  who  had  just  arrived 
at  Cadiz  from  revolted  Badajoz,  was  a  strong  adherent 
of  the  French,  and  extremely  popular  with  his  men, 
and  he  hesitated  to  take  what  looked  a  rash  step. 
His  timidity  was  resented,  and  he  was  murdered  by 
the  mob,  after  which  Cadiz  joined  Seville  in  the 
revolt.  Jaen,  Granada,  and  Cordoba  followed  the 
example,  and  in  each  place  the  oath  was  taken  to 
fight  without  remission  until  the  French  were  expelled 
and  Fernando  restored  to  the  throne.  Spanish 
authorities  who  resisted  were  forced  to  surrender  or 
fly  for  their  lives  ;  but  amid  much  violence  at  first,' 

At  Valencia,  as  in  so  many  other  places,  terrible  scenes  of  violence 
were  enacted  at  the  instigation  of  the  Jesuit  Father  Calvo,  who  sought 
to    win    over  the  mob   by   his   fervid    zeal.     Prompted    by   him    tliey 


the  organisation  for  the  defence  was  gradually  brought 
into  something  approaching  order  by  the  active  efforts 
of  the  Supreme  Council  of  Seville,  and  the  great 
armed  struggle  began  ;  the  French  forces  in  the  centre 
of  Spain  being  surrounded  on  all  sides  but  the  Basque 
provinces  and  the  Pyrenean  frontier  by  an  inimical 
nation  in  arms. 

The  first  triumph  of  the  patriots  was  the  surrender 
to  the  Spaniards  of  the  French  squadron  in  the 
Bay  of  Cadiz,  rigidly  blockaded  as  it  was  by  Colling- 
wood  and  Purvis,  whose  offers  of  aid  in  its  capture 
were  politely  declined  by  the  men  of  Cadiz.  This 
stroke  of  fortune  redoubled  the  enthusiasm  of  the 
south  ;  but  the  people  of  the  north  had  also  their  rally- 
ing point  of  early  heroism  in  the  splendid  example 
of  Zaragoza.  The  Captain-General  of  Aragon, 
Guillelmi,  like  most  men  of  his  rank  and  class, 
was  opposed  to  the  national  cause  ;  but  in  his  capital 
as  elsewhere  there  sprang  from  the  citizens  themselves 
the  irrepressible  impetus  which  bore  all  before  it. 
Almost  simultaneously  with  the  order  from  Madrid 
that  Aragonese  deputies  were  to  be  sent  to  Bayonne 
with  those  of  other  parts  of  Spain  to  ratify  by  their 
votes  in  a  sham  Cortes  the  iniquitous  proceedings  of 
Napoleon  and  the  Spanish  royal  family,  there  arrived 
at  Zaragoza  news  of  the  approach  of  an  army  of  seven 
or  eight  thousand  Frenchmen  to  take  possession  of 
the  city.  There  were  only  a  few  companies  of  Spanish 
troops    in    garrison,    500    in    all,    and    the    governor 

murdered  all  the  Frenchmen  settled  in  the  city,  and  several  Spanish 
citizens  whom  he  pointed  at  as  reactionaries.  The  Council  of  Valencia 
promptly  put  an  end  to  Colvo's  atrocities  and  hanged  him. 
















5:     « 





obstinately  refused  to  countenance  resistance  ;  but  a 
young  Aragonese  nobleman,  Don  Jose  Palafox,  placed 
himself  at  the  head  of  the  people  ;  Guillelmi  was 
deposed,  arms  were  distributed  broadcast,  the  autho- 
rities fled,  and  Zaragoza  stood  ready  to  defend  its 
honour  against  the  hosts  of  the  invading  Emperor 
(May  26th). 

,  The  city  had  practically  no  fortifications  but  its 
crumbling  walls,  behind  which  some  ancient  cannon 
were  placed,  but  the  exaltation  and  superstition 
of  the  people  had  persuaded  them  that  their 
tutelary  saint,  the  Virgin  of  Pilar,  was  miraculously 
leading  them  ;  and  women  and  children  vied  with  men  \ 
in  repelling  the  French  assaults  (June  15th).  There 
was  no  vanquishing  such  a  spirit  as  this.  Hundreds 
of  citizens  fell  before  the  repeated  charges  of  the 
cavalry,  but  thousands  of  others  were  ready  to  take 
their  places,  and  finally  the  French  troops  with  heavy 
loss  of  men,  standards,  and  arms,  gave  up  the  assault 
in  despair  ;  and  after  vain  attempts  to  negotiate  with 
Palafox  and  the  citizens,  commenced  a  regular  siege 
of  the  city.  It  is  impossible  here  to  enter  into  detail 
of  the  indomitable  spirit  shown  by  the  inhabitants 
during  the  next  six  weeks  of  constant  and  unequal 
struggle.  On  August  3rd  the  heavy  French  artillery 
had  completely  riddled  the  old  walls  with  breaches, 
and  after  a  tremendous  conflict,  the  invaders  poured 
in.  Then  from  every  window,  from  every  salient 
corner,  from  every  recessed  doorway  in  the  narrow 
winding  streets,  muskets  and  blunderbusses  belched 
forth  death  upon  the  gabachos.  Mad  with  fury  the 
Zaragozanos   took  no  heed  for  their  own  safety,  so 


long  as  they  could  stalk  and  kill  a  Frenchman.  For 
seven  hours  without  cessation  the  carnage  went  on, 
until  the  gutters  ran  blood  and  the  heaps  of  dead  and 
dying,  assailants  and  assaulted,  mingled  in  horrible 
heaps,  barred  the  passage  of  the  streets.  Behind 
barricades  of  their  own  poor  chattels  men,  women, 
and  children  fought  till  they  fell.  At  length,  when 
darkness  came,  tiie  French  were  forced  to  entrench 
themselves  in  one  small  corner  of  the  city  in  a 
monastery  called  Santa  Engracia,  where  they  re- 
mained all  the  next  day,  almost  panic  stricken  at  the 
obstinacy  of  the  Aragonese.-  On  the  5th  a  band  of 
armed  Catalan  volunteers,  6,000  strong,  came  to  the 
aid  of  the  devoted  city,  and  this  finally  turned  the 
scale.  On  August  13th  those  of  the  French  who  still 
lived  blew  up  the  monastery  and  fled,  leaving  behind 
them  their  guns,  munitions,  and  stores. 

It  must  have  been  plain  now  to  Napoleon,  if 
he  did  not  know  it  before,  that  he  had  undertaken 
a  task  which  would  tax  even  his  prodigious  energ\-, 
genius,  and  resource.  Almost  simultaneously  with 
the  French  defeat  at  Zaragoza  the  armed  Catalan 
peasants   beat  the    French   at   Gerona,^  Bruch,  and 

'  During  this  interval  the  French  general  sent  a  note  to  Palafox  pro- 
posing a  peace,  in  these  laconic  terms,  "  Peace  and  Capitulation?"'  to 
which  Palafox  replied  as  curtly,  "  War  and  Steel  !  " 

-  General  Duhesnie,  after  he  had  been  driven  back  disgracefully  by 
the  armed  populace  of  Gerona  in  June,  sallied  from  Barcelona  on  July 
loth,  determined  to  reduce  the  place  at  any  cost.  He  expressed  his 
intention  in  imitation  of  Qesar  thus  :  "Arrival,  24th  July  ;  attack  the 
city  25th  ;  26th,  capture  it ;  27th,  level  it  to  the  ground."  His  second 
attempt  was  more  disastrous  to  him  than  the  first,  and  he  abandoned 
the  siege  on  August  17th. 


Esparaguerra,  and  drove  them  back  in  confusion  to 
Barcelona,  and  a  still  more  important  reverse  hap- 
pened to  the  intruders  in  the  south.  It  has  already 
been  mentioned  that  General  Castanos,  the  com- 
mandant at  San  Roque,  was  the  first  Spanish 
general  of  high  rank  to  join  the  national  cause. 
He  had  therefore  been  appointed  by  the  Council 
of  Seville  to  the  command  of  the  Spanish  patriot- 
army  of  the  south,  and  in  a  few  weeks  had  20,000 
roughly  drilled  and  badly  equipped  but  fairly  service- 
able troops. 

The  French  army  in  Andalusia,  under  Dupont, 
after  sacking  Cordoba  and  Jaen,  had  retreated  to 
Andujar,  commanding  the  passes  of  the  Sierra 
Morena  from  the  south  ;  but,  Dupont  with  a  hostile 
population  on  all  sides  of  him,  was  short  of  provisions 
and  in  danger  of  being  cut  off  from  his  base  at 
Madrid.  A  reinforcement  of  6,000  men  were  sent  to 
him  from  Toledo  under  Vedel,  and  a  similar  body, 
which,  however,  never  reached  him,  were  despatched 
by  Junot  in  Portugal.  Castanos  determined  to  strike 
a  blow  at  Dupont's  army  in  order  to  free  Andalusia  from 
Frenchmen,  and  place  the  Sierra  Morena  between  the 
sovereign  Junta  of  Seville  and  the  usurping  govern- 
ment in  Madrid.  The  patriot-army  was  organised 
into  three  brigades  under  the  command  respectively 
of  Reding,  Coupigny,  and  Felix  Jones,  an  offer  of 
assistance  from  6,000  English  troops  then  in  transports 
off  Port  St.  Mary  being  declined  ;  and  on  July  15th 
operations  v/ere  opened  by  a  feigned  attack  upon 
Dupont  at  Andujar,  by  Castanos  with  one  brigade, 
whilst   the  other  two  were   directed  to  outflank  and 

BATTLE    OF  BAILEN.  1 39 

defeat  Vedel  at  Bailen.  By  a  mistake  in  tactics, 
however,  the  latter  general  had  abandoned  Bailen 
before  the  Spaniards  arrived  there,  in  order  to  join 
the  French  main  body  at  Andujar.  This  he  did  not 
effect  out  of  fear  that  the  Spanish  intention  was  to 
cut  off  the  French  retreat  by  occupying  the  passes  of 
the  Sierra  Morena.  Whilst  the  Spaniards  occupied 
Bailen,  therefore,  Vedel  retired  northward  into  the 
mountains,  leaving  Dupont  with  his  division  of 
10,000   men  between   two   fires. 

During  the  night  Dupont,  without  the  knowledge 
of  Castaiios,  stole  away  from  Andujar  with  most 
of  his  forces  to  attack  Reding  at  Bailen,  and  at 
the  same  time  recalled  Vedel  to  his  aid.  Reding 
being  unaware  of  Vedel's  movements,  and  fearing 
that  he  might  attack  Castafios  in  the  rear  at  Andujar, 
started  before  dawn  on  July  17th  to  reinforce  his 
chief.  No  sooner  had  he  sallied  from  Bailen, 
however,  than  to  his  surprise  he  met  Dupont  and  his 
division.  Both  generals  were  anxious  for  a  prompt 
engagement  as  Dupont  might  at  any  moment  be 
attacked  in  the  rear  by  Castafios,  whom  he  had  left  at 
Andujar,  whilst  Reding  feared  a  similar  attack  from 
Vedel.  There  were  3,000  more  Spaniards  than 
Frenchmen  ;  their  arms,  experience,  and  equipments 
were  much  inferior  to  those  of  their  foes  ;  but  they 
were  fighting  for  their  fatherland,  and  against  the 
dashing  charges  of  Dupont's  seasoned  soldiers  they 
stood  as  firm  as  a  wall.  Again  and  again  the  French 
veterans  rushed  against  the  citizen  ranks  only  to 
retire  discomfited  with  heavy  loss.  Vedel  came  not 
from  his  wild-goose  chase  in  the  mountains  to  support 


his  wavering  countrymen  ;  but  suddenly,  to  Dupont's 
dismay,  a  part  of  Castanos'   brigade  from   Andujar 
attacked  the  French   in   the  rear.     This    ended    the 
fight,    and    a    parley    was    called.      After   two    days 
of    haggling   the    whole    French    force   surrendered, 
and  laid    down    their   arms.     Unfortunately  on  this 
occasion,  as  on   many  others,  the  excited  Spaniards, 
driven  to  fury,    broke    out    of  hand    and    murdered 
scores    of    disarmed     and     helpless    prisoners  ;    bat 
this,    and   all    else,    was    forgotten    in    the  rejoicings 
for  the  great  victory  which  gladdened  the  heart  of 
Spain,  from  the  Pyrenees  to  the  pillars  o.    Hercules. 
(/    In    the   meanwhile   the   patriots    in   the  east  were 
no    less    successful.      Marshal    Moncey   with    8,000 
Frenchmen  had  at  first  beaten  back  the  improvised 
armies  sent  by  the  Council  of  Valencia  to  prevent  his 
approach  ;    and  on  June  27th  sent  his  summons  to 
the  city  to  surrender.     The  authorities,  despairing  of 
resistance,  were   in  favour  of  capitulation,  when   the 
people,  headed  by   the   famous    Father    Rico,  again 
spontaneously  declared  for  fighting  to  the  end.     The 
terrible  scenes  of  Zaragoza  were  repeated  in  Valencia. 
The    half-armed    citizens    fought    with    the    fury    of 
demoniacs.     hX  least   2,000  Frenchmen   were  killed 
in  the  few  hours  of  the  assault  on  the  city,  and  on 
^      June  29th  Moncey  and  the  rest  01'  his  troops    fled, 
leaving  Valencia  free.     Thus  on   all  sides,  except  on 
the  plains  of  Castile,  where    Bessieres   and    Lasalle 
were   everywhere  victorious,  and  had    now  Occupied 
Valladolid,    Palencia,  and  all    the    large    towns,    the 
French    were     forced     to    stand     on    the   defensive, 
and  prepare   for  a  regular  campaign  of  conquest. 


It  is  now  necessary  for  us  to  summarise  briefly 
what  had  taken  place  in  the  capital  since  the  fateful 
2ncl  of  May.  The  miserable  Junta  had  allowed 
Murat  to  impose  himself  upon  it  as  president,  and 
on  the  same  day  (May  4th)  Charles  IV.,  before  his 
abdication,  had  signed  in  Bayonne  a  decree  appointing 
him  his  Lieutenant-General  to  govern  the  realm.  It  is 
difficult  to  regard  with  patience  the  self-stultification 
of  the  Junta,  to  whom  at  this  moment  the  task  of 
governing  Spain  had  been  entrusted.  They  owed  their 
first  appointment  and  their  regency  to  Fernando,  from 
whom  they  held  full  powers,  and  yet  they  obeyed  the 
old  deposed  King  and  an  intruding  foreigner.  At  the 
bidding  of  Fernando,  in  a  passing  moment  of  strength, 
foreseeing  their  own  future  powerlessness,  they  had 
appointed  another  Junta  to  replace  them  in  case  of 
need,  to  sit  at  Zaragoza,  or  other  safe  place,  and  yet 
at  the  first  demand  of  Murat  they  undid  their  own  act, 
and  became  the  servile  tool  of  the  usurper.  Napoleon 
had  decided  to  give  the  crown  to  his  elder  brother 
Joseph,  King  of  Naples,  an  excellent  and  able  man, 
who  was  doing  well  in  his  new  kingdom,  and  did  not 
wish  to  leave  it.  But  Napoleon  was  peremptory,  and 
Joseph  obediently  came  to  Bayonne.  It  was  desirable 
that  some  form  of  legality  should  be  preserved,  how- 
ever, and  it  was  Murat's  task  to  manage  this.^ 

First  he  ordered  the  Junta,  the  Council  of  State, 
and  the  other  Councils  to  petition  the  Emperor  to 
appoint  his  brother  Joseph  sovereign  of  Spain.     This 

'  He  did  so  unwillingly,  for  he  desired  the  crown  for  himself  instead 
of  that  of  Naples  or  Portugal,  which  his  imperial  brother-in-law  had 
offered  him. 


they  and  other  pubHc  bodies  did  in  terms  so  nauseously 
servile  as  to  raise   a   blush  on  Spanish  cheeks  now, 
well-nigh  a  century  afterwards.     In  pursuance  of  the 
same  system,  an  assembly  of  Spanish  Notables  was 
summoned  to  sit  at  Bayonne  as  a  Cortes  to  ratify  the 
choice,  and  to  grant  a  constitution  to  Spain.     Most 
of  the  notables  were  chosen  by  Murat,  though  many 
refused  to  serve  and  fled.     Before  the  day  for  their 
meeting  Joseph  arrived  at  Bayonne  (June  /th),  and 
four  Spanish   deputations  were  hastily  organised  to 
congratulate  their  future  king.     The  Duke  of  Infan- 
tado  at  the  head  of  the  grandees  told  him  that  Spain 
looked  alone  to  him  for  happiness  ;  the  Councils  of 
Castile,  of  the   Inquisition,  of  Finance,  of  the  Indies 
and  of  the  army  abased  themselves  before  him  as  if 
he  were  a  demigod  ;  and  the  next  day  these  represen- 
tatives of  the  governing  and  official  classes  addressed 
a  communication  to  their  fellow-countrymen  at  home, 
calling  upon  them  to  lay  down  their  arms  and  accept 
with  due  gratitude  and   rejoicing  the  new  monarch 
the  Emperor  had  deigned  to  send  them.     As  soon  as 
a  sufficient  number  of  deputies  could  be  got  together  in 
Bayonne  to  look  like  a  Cortes,  a  brand  new  constitu- 
tion was  devised  and  signed  by  ninety-one  prominent 
Spaniards,  but  as  it  never  took  effect  in  Spain,  and 
its  few  concessions  to  modern  ideas  of  liberty  were 
illusory,  it  may  be  passed  over  without  further  notice. 
With  all  pomp  and  circumstance  Joseph  I.  set  foot 
in  his  new  kingdom  on  the  9th  of  July,  surrounded 
by  the  ministers  and  officers  of  State  he  had  chosen.^ 

'  The   Secretaries  of  State  had  been  increased  from  five  to  nine. 
Urquijo  was  Minister  of  State  ;  Cevallos  of  the  Foreign  Affairs  ;  of  the 



144  ^^^   PENINSULAR    WAR. 

Guns  thundered  and  bells  clanged  on  the  frontier. 
Joseph,  well  meaning  and  honest,  did  his  best  ;  but 
all  around  him,  after  the  first  burst  of  machine-made 
rejoicing,  were  scowling  faces  ;  and  from  Vitoria  he 
wrote  to  the  Emperor,  already  disheartened :  "  No 
one  has  told  the  truth  to  you.  The  fact  is  that  there 
is  not  a  single  Spaniard  on  my  side,  except  the  few 
who  attended  the  meeting  and  who  are  travelling 
with  me.  Those  who  were  so,  and  had  arrived  here 
and  at  other  places  to  meet  me,  have  fled  to  hiding, 
terrified  at  the  unanimous  opinion  of  their  country- 

Joseph's  position  from  the  first  was  an  impossible 
one.  Between  the  unreasoning  hate  of  the  Spaniards 
and  the  tyrannical  harshness  of  his  brother,  his  own 
honesty  of  purpose  was  powerless,  and  he  could  only 
drift  with  events,  though  thenceforward  he  never 
deceived  himself  as  to  the  final  result.  All  along  his 
line  of  route  the  French  army  had  been  victorious. 
The  obstinate  ineptitude  of  General  Cuesta  had  made 
Bessieres  master  of  Castile  from  the  sea  to  Madrid, 
after  the  defeats  of  Rioseco  and  Cabezon ;  and  the  new 
sovereign  came  to  his  capital  through  a  weeping  land 
under  the  shadow  of  foreign  bayonets.  From  every 
stopping-place  he  wrote  to  his  brother  what  the  real 
position  was.  In  Madrid  his  disappointment  was 
greater  still.  Signs  of  mourning  were  everywhere, 
and  a  few  days  after  his  arrival  he  wrote  :  "  All  classes 
are    flying.      Henry   IV.  (of   France),  at    all  events. 

Colonies,  Azanza  ;  Navy,  Mazaretto ;  Finance,  the  Count  de  Cabarrus  ; 
Justice,  Pinuela;  and  War,  O  Farril  ;  Jovellanos  was  appointed  Minister 
of  the  Interior  but  positively  refused  to  serve. 


had  a  party.  Philip  V.  (of  Spain)  had  only  one  rival 
to  fight  against.  I  have  for  an  enemy  a  whole  nation 
of  12,000,000  souls,  hating  me  and  thirsting  for  my 
life.  The  detestation  against  the  Prince  of  the  Peace 
is  extreme,  and  it  is  now  turned  on  me.  .  .  .  Sire, 
believe  me,  and  err  not  :  Your  glory  will  sink  in 

Y^  But  suddenly  one  morning  Madrid  forgot  its 
sorrows,  and  went  wild  with  joy.  The  news,  the 
glorious  news,  of  Bailen  had  come,  and  the  victorious 
Spanish  troops  were  marching  over  the  Sierra  Morena 
to  Madrid.  Whilst  the  people  in  the  streets  were 
mad  with  delight,  the  intruders  in  the  big  granite 
palace  on  its  bluff  were  in  dismay.  No  help  could 
come  to  them  from  the  south,  east,  or  west,  for  Du- 
pont  and  his  men  were  prisoners,  Moncey  in  Valencia 
and  Duhesme  in  Catalonia  could  not  even  hold  their 
own,  and  Junot  in  Portugal  was  held  tightly  in  the 
grip  of  an  English  army.  So,  after  a  ten  days'  reign, 
the  "  intrusive  King  "  had  to  fly  from  his  capital  north 
over  the  Ebro  '^  (July  30th),  and  then  in  rapid  succes- 

'  Napoleon,  on  the  day  that  he  received  news  of  Joseph's  flight, 
wrote  to  him  from  Rochefort :  "La  grande  armee  est  en  marche.  Les 
secours  vous  arrivent ;  sa  reunion  avec  Bessieres  doit  vous  mettre  a 
meme  de  montrer  les  dents.  .  .  .  J'apprendrai  avec  plaisir  que  vous 
avezmontre  du  charactere  et  du  talent ;  "  but  when  he  learnt  ten  days 
afterwards  that  both  Joseph  and  all  his  armies  had  retired  across  the 
Ebro,  he  expressed  his  anger  to  his  brother  thus  :  "  Mon  frere,  tout  ce 
qui  passe  en  Espagne  est  l)ien  deplorable.  L'armee  i)arait  commandee 
non  par  des  genereux  qui  ont  fait  la  guerre,  mais  par  des  inspecteurs 
des  postes.  Le  pays  qui  vous  convient  pour  faire  la  guerre  est  un  pays 
de  plaine  et  vous  vous  enfoncez  dans  un  pays  de  montagnes  sans  raison 
ni  necessite.  Dans  une  retraite  aussi  precipite,  que  de  choses  on 
doit  avoir  perdues,  oublices  !  " 



sion  there  marched  into  Madrid,  amidst  the  frantic 
joy  of  the  people,  the  heroes  of  Zaragoza,  of  Valencia, 
and,  most  welcome  of  all,  Castaiios  and  the  victors  of 
Bailen.  Five  of  Joseph's  ministers  accompanied  him 
in  his  flight,  but  not  another  Spaniard,  high  or  low — 
not  even  a  menial  servant — would  deign  to  follow  the 
flying  foreigner,  for  it  was  plain  that  Joseph  was 
fighting  a  losing  battle  against  a  whole  nation.  As 
he  travelled  north,  the  French  armies,  to  the  number 
of  70,000  men,  fell  back  beyond  the  line  of  the  Ebro 
and  awaited  the  dispositions  of  the  Emperor  to  re- 
conquer Spain. 

In  Portugal,  too,  matters  went  no  more  favourably 
to  France  than  in  the  other  parts  of  the  Peninsula. 
Junot  and  Kellerman  had  found  themselves  deserted 
by  all  the  Spanish  troops  they  had  been  unable  to 
disarm  and  confine,  and  the  Portuguese  people  rose 
as  one  man  when  the  news  of  the  Spanish  revolt 
reached  them.  The  English  Government,  eager  to 
take  advantage  of  these  circumstances  to  re-establish 
their  influence,  ordered  General  Spencer's  force  off 
Cadiz  to  proceed  to  Portugal,  and  sent  Sir  Arthur 
Wellesley  to  join  them  with  a  division  of  10,000  men 
which  had  been  intended  as  an  expedition  against 
Spanish  America ;  Sir  John  Moore,  with  10,000 
British  soldiers,  being  also  instructed  to  sail  for  the 
same  destination.  Wellesley  lost  no  time  after  landing 
early  in  August.  He  was  the  junior  general  officer. 
Sir  Hugh  Dalrymple  and  Sir  Harry  Burrard,  his 
seniors,  being  appointed  to  command,  but  on  his  own 
responsibility  he  pushed  forward  towards  Lisbon  as 
soon  as  he  had  joined  Spencer's  force.     Beating  back 

VIMIERO   AND   CI  NT R  A.  14/ 

Delaborde  (August  17th)  he  met  the  main  French 
army  at  Vimiero  (August  21st)  and  fought  them, 
against  the  opinion  of  his  senior  officer,  Sir  Harry 
Burrard.  Junot's  force  was  smaller  than  that  of  the 
English,  but  the  latter  were  short  of  cavalry.  Wel- 
lesley's  choice  of  position  remedied  the  defect,  and 
the  French  were  entirely  defeated.  The  arrival  of 
Sir  John  Moore's  force  from  the  Baltic  completed  the 
discomfiture  of  Junot ;  but  what  Wellesley  had  gained 
by  arms  his  colleagues  lost  by  diplomacy.  The  in- 
famous convention  of  Cintra,  signed  by  Sir  Hugh 
Dalrymple  as  Commander-in-chief  (August  30th), 
allowed  beaten  and  helpless  Junot  to  sail  away  for 
France  in  English  ships  with  all  his  arms  and  booty  ; 
and,  to  the  disgust  of  the  British  sailors  and  their 
chief.  Admiral  Cotton,  the  Russian  squadron,  which 
they  already  looked  upon  as  their  prize,  was  also 
permitted  to  leave  the  Tagus  unmolested. 
,  Whilst  the  French  were  thus  discouraged  on  all 
sides,  and  a  rapid  movement  of  the  Spaniards  towards 
the  north  might  have  struck  them  a  staggering  blow, 
the  national  leaders  in  Madrid  were  occupied  with 
unworthy  intrigues  and  personal  ambitions,  and 
allowed  the  opportunity  to  pass.  Cuesta,  the  vain 
and  overbearing  defeated  general  of  Castile,  and  Cas- 
tanos,  the  victor  of  Bailen,  were  both  plotting  to 
obtain  a  military  dictatorship  for  themselves,  whilst 
the  people  called  for  some  form  of  representative 
government.  The  provincial  Juntas,  especially  that 
of  Seville,  had  on  the  whole  shown  energ}'  and 
patriotism  under  very  difficult  circumstances ;  but 
Madrid  was,  not  unnaturall)-,  desirous  once  more  of 


assuming  the  leading  place.  The  Junta  of  Regency 
appointed  by  Fernando  had  of  course  disappeared 
with  the  arrival  of  Joseph,  and  now  that  the  latter 
and  his  government  had  fled  the  way  was  open 
for  the  establishment  of  an  entirely  new  regime. 
After  much  discussion  and  dispute,  it  was  decided 
to  summon  a  national  assembly,  of  which  the 
members  were  elected  by  the  provincial  Juntas. 

They  met  at  the  end  of  September  to  the  number 
of  thirty-five,  and  from  the  first  it  was  evident  that  very 
divergent  views  were  held  by  the  various  constituent 
bodies  as  to  the  duties  and  powers  of  this  Central 
Junta.  It  must  be  recollected  that  representative 
government  had  been. practically  dead  in  Spain  for  at 
least  a  century.  Some  doctrinaires  wished  to  revert 
to  the  ancient  procedure  of  the  Cortes  of  Castile, 
some  were  for  the  provincial  autonomy  which  for- 
merly existed  ;  others,  imbued  with  the  modern  ideas 
of  the  French  Revolution,  were  in  favour  of  imitating 
the  National  Convention.  Amidst  this  infinite  wrang- 
ling they  were  united  on  the  subject  of  the  sovereignty 
of  Fernando,  whom  they  crowned  in  absentia  with 
unnecessary  pomp  and  expense.  Jovellanos  repre- 
sented the  more  advanced  section  of  the  Central 
Junta,  but  was  beaten  in  the  struggle  for  the  presi- 
dency by  the  old  minister  Count  de  Floridablanca, 
who  was  now  looked  upon  as  a  Conservative.  A 
more  reactionary  element  still  was  the  Council  of 
Castile,  which  by  the  old  constitution  had  charge  of 
the  whole  judicature  of  Spain,  and  was  the  highest 
administrative  power  in  the  realm.  This  body  had 
grovelled  servilely  at  the  feet  of  Joseph,  but  as  soon 


as  he  had  fled  they  asserted  their  supremacy,  and 
protested  against  the  actions  of  the  Central  Junta  as 
each  fresh  innovation  was  introduced.  Their  protests, 
however,  were  unheeded,  for  they  were  a  discredited 
body,  and  the  members  of  the  Junta  themselves  soon 
lost  their  balance  and  passed  from  one  extravagance 
to  another.  Certainly,  in  opposition  to  the  desires  of 
the  most  influential  provincial  Juntas,  its  constituents, 
the  Central  Junta  proclaimed  itself  sovereign  in  the 
absence  of  Fernando,  assumed  the  title  of  Majesty,  and 
exacted  royal  honours,  whilst  Floridablanca,  with  the 
style  of  Highness,  took  up  his  residence  in  the  palace 
of  the  kings,  and  all  the  members  were  Excellen- 
cies with  large  salaries.  Confusion,  dissension,  and 
jealousy  reigned  supreme,  both  amongst  civilians  and 
soldiers.  Much  time  was  wasted  in  pompous  rejoicings 
and  undignified  squabbles ;  and  after  a  disastrous 
delay  a  Council  of  Generals  met  at  the  end  of  Sep- 
tember to  plan  a  national  campaign.  They  extended 
such  forces  as  they  had  in  a  vast  semicircle  ranging 
from  Santander  to  Cataluna,  a  far  too  extended 
line  to  be  effective  with  only  70,000  men.  In  the 
meanwhile  Napoleon,  watching  their  follies  with 
delight,  rapidly  organised  his  attack. 

Ney  and  Jourdan  crossed  the  Pyrenees  ;  men  and 
munitions  were  poured  into  Spain,  and  the  Emperor 
himself  assumed  the  supreme  command.  The  Spanish 
generals  were  obstinate  and  opinionated,  but  inex- 
perienced and  mostly  incapable  ;  jealous  of  each  other, 
and  with  mainly  undisciplined  troops.  Almost  every 
tactical  mistake  possible  was  perpetrated  by  them. 
Blake,  one  of  the  best  of  them,  was  hampered  by  the 


meddling  of  the  Central  Junta,  and  was  finally  super- 
seded in  the  command  of  his  division  by  the  Marquis  de 
la  Romana,  who  had  just  brought  his  men  from  Den- 
mark to  join  the  national  cause  (October  26th).  By 
a  series  of  rapid  movements  of  Lefebvre,  this,  the  left 
division  of  the  Spaniards,  was  defeated  and  driven  back 
(November  i  ith),  whilst  Napoleon  in  person  advanced 
into  the  heart  of  Castile,  with  no  Spanish  force 
between  him  and  Madrid.  The  Sjmnish  centre  under 
Castahos  was  completely  crushed  at  Tudela  on 
November  26th,  and  the  right  was  driven  into  the 
mountains  of  Aragon.  The  news  carried  dismay  to 
Madrid  and  to  the  Central  Junta,  which  had  now 
retired  to  Aranjuez.  Napoleon  had  left  Burgos  on 
the  22nd  of  November,  and  might  be  before  the 
capital  at  any  moment,  the  French  were  creeping 
down  Estremadura,  and  threatened  the  retreat 
southward  of  the  Government :  so  on  the  ist  of 
December  "his  Majesty"  the  Junta  fled  to  Talavera, 
and  subsequently  to  Seville,  to  carry  on  the  govern- 
ment of  Spain,  leaving  the  defence  of  Madrid  to 
the  Marquis  of  Castelar  and  Don  Tomas  Morla. 

There  were  only  two  battalions  of  troops  in  the  city, 
and  treachery  was  rife  amongst  the  higher  classes, 
Morla  himself  being  sold  to  the  French ;  but  the  "town 
of  the  2nd  of  May  "  determined  to  fight  even  the 
great  Emperor  himself,  with  his  60,000  veterans.  The 
fight,  as  may  be  imagined,  was  but  a  short  one. 
Napoleon  from  his  headquarters  in  the  suburb  of 
Chamartin  dictated  his  not  ungenerous  terms  of  capi- 
tulation :  and  on  the  loth  of  December  the  French 
garrison    entered    the    "  crowned  burgh "  amidst  the 



sulky  silence  of  the  beaten  burghers.  Napoleon  was 
uncertain  at  this  time  as  to  his  future  policy  towards 
Spain. ,  }He  had  received  his  brother  coolly,  and  was 
somewhat  inclined  to  divide  the  country  into  five 
French  provinces,  instead  of  reappointing  Joseph 
king  ;  but  his  hands  were  full,  and  his  presence  else- 
where was  urgently  needed.  He  consequently  pro- 
claimed to  the  people  of  Madrid  that  he  would  restore 
his  brother,  but  he  warned  them  that  if  they  mis- 
behaved themselves  again  he  himself  would  assume 
the  crown,  in  which  case  he  would  "  force  them  to 
respect  him."  He  began  as  an  example  by  proscrib- 
ing and  condemning  to  death  in  their  absence  all  the 
nobles  who  had  deserted  or  opposed  the  cause  of  the 
French,  and  in  his  decrees  from  Chamartin  quite 
ignored  Joseph.^ 

In    the    meanwhile    the    distracted  Central    Junta 
could  only  appeal  to  the  English  for  aid.     Sir  John 

'  Some  of  his  decrees  at  the  time  were  remarkable.  He  dismissed 
the  members  of  the  Council  of  Castile  as  being  "cowards  unworthy  to 
represent  a  brave  and  generous  people,"  and  the  Inquisition,  once  all- 
powerful,  was  abolished  by  a  stroke  of  his  pen.  He  made  no  pretence 
of  fulfilling  the  terms  of  the  capitulation.  His  own  opinion  as  to  the 
manner  of  treating  Spaniards  is  expressed  in  a  letter  to  Joseph  from 
Valladolid,  Janvier  S""=— "  Je  ne  suis  pas  content  de  la  police  de 
Madrid.  Belliard  est  tres  faible.  Avec  les  Espagnols  il  faut  etre 
severe.  I'ai  fait  arreter  ici  quinze  des  plus  mechants  et  je  les  ai  fait 
fusilier.  Faites  en  arreter  une  trentaine  a  Madrid  .  .  .  Quand  on  la 
traite  avec  douceur  cette  canaille  se  croit  invulnerable  ;  quand  on  en 
pend  quelques  uns,  elle  commence  a  se  degouter  du  jeu  et  devient 
soumise  et  humble  comme  elle  doit  etre."  Napoleon  only  entered  the 
town  of  Madrid  once  during  his  stay.  Accompanying  Joseph  to  the 
palace,  he  placed  hishand  on  one  of  the  lions  at  the  bottom  of  the  great 
staircase  and  pronounced  the  words—"  Je  la  tiens  enfin,  cette  Espagne 
si  desiree?"  Turning  to  his  brother  as  he  ascended  the  stairs  he  said 
— "  Mon  frere,  vous  etesmieux  loge  que  moi,"  which  was  quite  true. 


Moore  had  advanced  from  Portugal  into  Spain, 
and  was  at  Salamanca  by  the  middle  of  November 
with  20,000  men,  whilst  Sir  David  Baird  with  the 
reserve  of  about  4,000  was  at  Astorga.  Moore,  in  view 
of  the  complete  defeat  of  the  Spanish  native  forces, 
was  doubtful,  but  at  length,  on  the  1 2th  of  December, 
set  out  towards  Valladolid  with  the  object  of  threa- 
tening the  return  of  Napoleon  from  Madrid.  Two 
days  afterwards  he  learnt  that  the  capital  had  fallen, 
and  that  the  French  were  threatening  his  own  retreat, 
Soult  drawing  him  on  by  feigned  backward  marches  ; 
whilst  Napoleon  himself,  with  the  flower  of  his  army, 
the  National  Guard,  was  advancing  as  rapidly  as  the 
heavy  snow  and  dreadful  roads  would  allow.  The 
Spanish  force  under  Romana,  which  was  to  have 
joined  Moore,  was  demoralised,  starving,  and  in  rags  : 
the  people  of  the  country,  terrified  now  at  the  severity 
of  the  Frenchmen  and  the  rapacity  of  the  soldiery 
of  all  sorts,  were  unfriendly,  and  themselves  almost 
without  food  or  drink.  Moore  saw  that  his  only 
chance  of  escape  was  a  rapid  retreat  to  Galicia  ;  and, 
closely  followed  and  harassed  by  Soult's  forces,  with 
the  Emperor  just  behind  and  Ney  threatening  his 
flank,  he  set  out  on  his  heartbreaking  journey  to 
Corunna,  whilst  Romana  was  ordered  to  retreat  to 
Asturias,  thus  crossing  and  hampering  the  English 
line  of  march. 

It  is  impossible  here  to  give  an  account  of 
the  horrors  of  Moore's  retreat.  The  men,  mostly 
disorganised,  got  out  of  hand,  straggling,  malinger- 
ing, and  plundering.  Hundreds  died  of  drunken- 
ness   on  the  way,  hundreds    more  of  the  inclement 

THE   RETREAT    TO    CORUNNA.  1 53 

weather  and  constant  hardships,  scores  of  thousands 
of  pounds  worth  of  stores  had  to  be  destroyed 
to  prevent  them  from  falling  into  the  enemy's 
hands  ;  and  the  wretched  Spaniards,  robbed  and 
maltreated  by  friends  and  foes  alike,  dared  not  show 
hospitality  to  the  former,  even  if  they  would,  for 
fear  of  the  French  who  were  close  in  the  rear. 
Napoleon  himself  abandoned  the  pursuit  at  Astorga 
and  returned  to  France,  the  English  army  ending  its 
retreat  by  making  a  gallant  stand  at  last  before 
Corunna  to  cover  the  embarkation  of  the  vanguard 
and  guns  (January  i6,  1808).  Brave  Moore  himself 
fell  in  the  never-to-be-forgotten  fight,  but  at  least  he 
saved  his  army  from  the  shame  of  capitulation,  and 
the  last  of  them  sailed  for  England  the  day  after  the 
battle,  exposed  to  the  fire  of  Soult's  artillery. 

It  was  obvious  to  the  British  Government  by  this 
time  that  the  enthusiasm  of  the  Spanish  leaders  had 
overrated  both  their  resources  and  their  ability,  and 
that  if  the  country  was  to  be  rescued  from  the  domi- 
nation of  France,  it  could  only  be  done  by  large 
organised  armies  from  England,  led  by  consummate 
commanders.  Amongst  the  rank  and  file  of  the 
Spaniards  from  first  to  last  the  utmost  bravery  was 
exhibited  ;  bands  of  guerrilleros  with  an  endurance 
almost  past  belief  continually  harassed  the  enemy, 
and  lent  valuable  aid  to  the  English  troops  ;  and 
wherever  Spanish  soldiers,  especially  cavalry,  were 
brigaded  with  English  regiments,  they  fought  splen- 
didly ;  but  the  higher  officers  of  pure  Spanish  blood, 
especially  Cuesta,  Peiia,  and  Castafios,  were  idle,  incom- 
petent, jealous,  and  vain.     Uncertain  as  to  who  were 


really  their  masters,  always  with  an  arrih-e  pensde  of 
their  own  interest  ;  harassed,  moreover,  by  wild  and 
contradictory  orders  from  a  remote  revolutionary 
government  of  civilians  ;  with  undisciplined  forces, 
and  frequently  without  the  stores  absolutely  necessary 
for  their  men,  it  cannot  be  surprising  that  their  co- 
operation with  the  English  was  often  unsatisfactory, 
English  critics  of  the  campaign  in  blaming,  as  they 
do  freely,  both  the  Central  Junta  and  the  Spanish 
generals  for  their  ineptitude,  too  often  lose  sight  of 
the  difficulties  of  the  situation.  We  have  seen  how 
suddenly  the  most  conservative  country  in  Europe 
was  plunged  into  a  perfect  cataclysm  of  change  ;  all 
her  old  institutions  disappeared  in  the  course  of  a  few 
months,  and  the  violent  alternations  of  government 
threw  her  naturally  into  a  state  of  semi-anarchy.  It 
is  less  wonderful  that  the  Central  Junta  under  such 
distracting  circumstances  should  have  failed  to  reach 
the  English  standard  of  regularity,  than  that  they 
were  able  to  do  as  much  as  they  did. 
v3  Joseph  entered  his  new  capital  for  the  second  time 
in  state  as  king  on  the  22nd  of  January,  1809,  a  few 
days  after  the  complete  rout  by  Victor  at  Ucles  of  the 
only  Spanish  organised  force  near  the  capital ;  and  a 
month  after  (February  20th)  the  heroic  Zaragoza,  as 
the  result  of  a  second  two  months'  siege  which  will  ever 
remain  memorable,  was  forced  to  surrender  to  Marshal 
Lannes  at  the  head  of  an  overwhelming  French  army, 
amidst  scenes  of  horror  indescribable.^  ^  There  were 

'  Lannes  himself  wrote  to  the  Emperor  :  "  I  have  never  seen  stub- 
bornness equal  to  the  defence  of  this  place.  Women  allow  themselves 
to  be  killed  in  front  of  every  breach.  Every  house  needs  a  separate 
assault  ...   In  a  word,  Sire,  this  is  a  war  whicli  liorrifics."' 


now  300,000  French  soldiers  in  Spain,  commanded 
by  all  the  generals  who  had  become  famous  in  the 
Napoleonic  wars.  The  Emperor's  plan  was  to  send 
Soult  to  conquer  Oporto  and  Lisbon,  Ney  was  to 
remain  in  Galicia,  Victor  was  to  reduce  Estremadura 
and  Andalusia,  especially  Cadiz.  Sebastiani  with  a 
strong  force  was  to  protect  Joseph  in  Madrid,  Suchet 
was  to  hold  Aragon,  Saint  Cyr,  Cataluna  ;  and  the 
north  of  Spain  was  entrusted  to  Kellerman  and 
Bonnet.  To  meet  these  redoubtable  warriors  England 
agreed  with  the  Central  Junta  to  send  men  and  money 
to  enable  the  Spaniards  to  arm  and  organise  for  the 
absent  Fernando. 

Soult  had  taken  possession  of  the  north  of  Por- 
tugal, when  Wellesley  with  20,000  troops  (to  which 
were  added  8,000  Portuguese)  landed  in  Lisbon 
(April  22nd).  With  prodigious  energy  the  English 
general  at  once  drove  the  French  back  into  Galicia, 
which  province  and  that  of  Asturias  they  then  aban- 
doned. Encouraged  by  this,  the  sturdy  Aragonese 
also  rose,  and  with  the  help  of  Blake  and  his  brigade, 
confined  the  French  dominion  of  the  ancient  king- 
dom to  the  capital  of  Zaragoza.  In  the  meanwhile 
Soult  made  another  attempt  to  get  into  Portugal  by 
Ciudad  Rodrigo,  in  conjunction  with  Victor,  who 
approached  the  frontier  lower  down  by  Merida  and 
Badajoz.  Wellesley's  activity,  however,  together 
with  a  victory  by  the  Spaniard  Lacy  over  the  French 
in  the  Mancha,  caused  Joseph  to  recall  his  armies 
more  closely  around  his  centre  at  Madrid,  and  Victor 
then  retreated  to  Plasencia  and  Soult  to  Salamanca. 
Wellesley    then    marched    rapidly    from     Abrantes, 

1  36  THE   PENINSULAR    WAR. 

formed  a  junction  near  Plasencia  with  Cuesta's  force 
from  Estremadura,  whilst  Victor  fell  further  back  to 
Talavera,  whither  Joseph  with  Sebastiani's  division 
hurried  in  order  to  attack  the  English  and  Spaniards 
in  front,  while  Soult  came  over  the  mountains  from 
Salamanca  and  attacked  them  on  the  flank.  Cuesta, 
obstinate  as  usual,  refusing  to  co-operate  loyally  with 
Wellesley,  moved  forward  alone,  and  was  met  and 
beaten  back  to  Talavera,  pursued  by  the  French 
(July  26th).  On  the  following  day  the  great 
battle  of  Talavera  was  opened  by  an  attack  upon 
Cuesta's  division,  which  now  formed  the  right  of  the 
allied  army  ;  but  the  main  brunt  of  the  battle  fell 
upon  the  English.  Joseph's  force  was  driven  back 
again  and  again  during  the  two  days  of  the  fight. 
Soult  came  not  ;  and  at  length  the  French  made  a 
precipitate  retreat,  with  a  loss  of  7,000  men  and  16 
cannon,  the  English  losing  6,000  men,  and  the 
Spaniards  1,200.' 

The  results  of  this  great  victory  were  almost 
entirely  nullified  by  Cuesta's  wrongheadedness. 
Wellesley  set  out  on  the  ist  of  August  to  beat 
Soult,  who  had  now  arrived  at  Plasencia,  leaving 
the  Spaniards  at  Talavera  to  hold  Victor  in  check 
and  prevent  him  from  joining  Soult.  Cuesta,  either 
from  treachery  or  cowardice,  abandoned  the  place  and 
ran  after  the  English,  whom  he  joined  at  Oropesa. 
Wellesley,  almost  in  despair,  therefore  had  the  bitter- 
ness of  seeing  Soult  and  Victor  in  union  at  Talavera 

'  There  were  present  at  the  engagement  34,000  Spaniards,  of  which 
6,000  were  cavahy  ;  19,000  English,  of  which  3,000  were  cavalry,  and 
50,000  Frenchmen. 

T ALA  VERA.  157 

and  Plasencia,  and  the  allies  suffered  a  defeat  at 
Puente  del  Arzobispo,  which,  together  with  Cuesta's 
disloyalty,  compelled  the  English  comn:iander  to  fall 
back  on  the  Portuguese  frontier  and  stand  on  the 
defensive.!  In  the  meanwhile  reinforcements  were 
being  hurried  from  France,  for  Madrid  was  once  more 
threatened  by  a  Spanish  force  under  Venegas  on  the 
south.  Joseph,  however,  completely  routed  Venegas' 
army  with  heavy  loss  on  the  nth  of  August,  and 
returned  to  his  capital. 

During  his  stay  there  as  king  Joseph  had  striven  hard 
to  gain  the  sympathy  of  his  subjects  ;  and,  to  judge 
by  the  fulsome  addresses  which  reached  him  from 
official  bodies  in  most  places  where  the  Junta  was 
not  supreme,  he  was  not  altogether  unsuccessful. 
Uninfluenced  by  the  old  Spanish  traditions,  he 
abolished  by  decree  a  host  of  laws  which  still 
impeded  the  circulation  of  merchandise,  and  which 
operated  adversely  to  agriculture ;  he  regularised 
the    despatch    of  business   in   his  various    ministries 

'  Wellesley  wrote  to  his  brother  the  Marquis  of  Wellesley,  at  tliis 
time  English  ambassador  to  the  Junta.  "  It  is  useless  to  complain,  but 
we  are  certainly  not  treated  as  friends,  much  less  as  the  only  prop  on 
which  the  cause  of  Spain  can  depend."  And  again,  "  I  am  much 
afraid  from  what  I  have  seen  of  the  proceedings  of  the  Central  Junta, 
that  in  the  distribution  of  their  forces  they  do  not  consider  military 
operations,  so  much  as  they  do  political  intrigue."  The  Marquis  at  the 
same  time  wrote  to  his  Government:  "Far  from  affording  any  just 
foundation  of  confidence  in  their  intentions,  such  assiduous  declara- 
tions of  activity  and  enterprise,  unattended  by  any  provident  attention 
to  the  means  and  object  of  the  war,  serve  only  to  create  additional 
suspicions  of  ignorance,  weakness,  or  insincerity  ;  but  whatever  insin- 
cerity or  jealousy  exist  towards  England  is  to  be  found  in  the  Govern- 
ment, its  officers,  and  adherents  ;  no  such  unworthy  sentiment  prevails 
amongst  the  people.'" 


and  tribunals  of  justice,  centred  the  consultative 
power  in  a  Council  of  State,  and  endeavoured  to 
protect  the  peaceful  taxpayer  from  extortion.  But 
if  he  had  been  an  angel  from  heaven  the  result 
would  have  been  the  same.  The  regiments  of 
Spaniards  he  formed  deserted  as  soon  as  they  saw 
their  old  flag  borne  by  their  compatriot  antagonists : 
he  was  represented  by  his  unofficial  subjects  as  a 
deformed  and  drunken  monstrosity  ;  insult  and  scorn 
were  lavished  upon  him — behind  his  back — with  a 
malignity  which  was  only  equalled  by  the  ingenuity 
and  wit  with  which  it  was  presented.  Most  of  the 
old  abuses  were  abolished.  The  monasteries  were 
suppressed,  as  were  the  pensioned  military  Orders 
of  Knighthood ;  the  Inquisition  disappeared,  the 
clergy  were  made  subject  to  civil  jurisdiction,  Church 
plate  as  well  as  private  plate  was  seized  for  revenue : 
but  it  was  all  of  no  avail  ;  Joseph  was  a  Frenchman, 
and  as  such  was  odious  ;  Fernando  was  a  Spaniard 
— or  was  supposed  to  be,  although  he  had  little 
Spanish  blood  in  his  veins — and  as  such  was  beloved. 
In  the  meanwhile  the  rival  government  of  the 
Central  Junta  in  Seville  was  injudicious,  and  not 
untouched  by  corruption  or  disloyalty.  The  Spanish 
Colonies  had  echoed  the  cry  of  the  mother  country, 
and  unanimously  declared  for  the  national  cause. 
All  South  America,  and  the  remote  Filipinas,  broke 
out  into  a  fervour  of  loyalty  which  equalled  that  of 
Spain;  and  during  the  one  year  1809  sent  nearly 
^3,000,000  sterling  to  the  patriot  government,  in 
return  for  which  the  important  decree  was  issued 
by  the  Junta  declaring  the  Colonies  to  be  no  longer 


Crown  colonies  alone,  but  an  integral  part  of  the 
realm,  and  as  such  entitled  to  representation  in  the 
government.  This  was  preparatory  to  the  summon- 
ing of  a  Cortes  of  the  nation,  in  which  all  interests 
should  be  represented.  Fernando  from  Bayonne 
had  enjoined  his  Junta  of  Regency  to  summon  a 
Cortes,  but  they  had  not  done  so,  and  the  Central 
Junta,  desirous  of  conciliating  the  restive  Provincial 
Juntas,  in  May,  1809,  convened  a  meeting  of  the 
ancient  Cortes  for  the  following  year,  with  the 
ostensible  object  of  rehabilitating  the  representative 
institutions  of  the  country  which  had  been  gradually 
undermined  and  lost  in  the  preceding  250  years. 
The  constitution  of  the  Assembly,  however,  was  to 
be  altered  in  several  respects,  and  the  deputies  from 
the  Colonies  admitted. 

In  the  earlier  pages  we  have  shown  how  unready 
the    Spaniards    were   to  accept    reforms  from    kings 
and  ministers.      They   showed   themselves    now     no 
more    enthusiastic  in  their    welcome   of  the   various 
innovations  in  the  constitution  decreed  by  the  Junta, 
whose  presumption  and  incompetence — if  not  worse 
— would   have   led   to  its    prompt   downfall,   but  for 
the  fact  that  nine  out   of  every  ten  Spaniards  had 
for  the   time  but  one  idea :    namely,  the   killing  of 
as  many  gabachos  as  possible.      It   will   be  well   to 
say  something  of  the  persons  who  had  thus  assumed 
the  sovereign  power  in   Spain   in  the  name  of  Fer- 
nando.      For    a    time    there    was    some    antagonism 
between  the  orginal  supreme  Junta    of  Seville   and 
the  Central  Junta  which  had  emigrated  from  Madrid, 
but  this  had  ended  in  a  union  of  the  two  bodies. 


As  usual  in  such  bodies  in  times  of  revolution 
some  of  the  scum  rose  to  the  top.  Count  de  Tilly, 
originally  one  of  the  two  representatives  of  Seville 
on  the  Central  Junta,  and  now  an  active  member 
of  the  Government,  was  a  notorious  profligate,  steeped 
in  every  form  of  dishonesty  and  vice  ;  but  popular, 
dashing,  and  rich.  His  colleague,  Hore,  was  a  fit 
companion  for  him  ;  and  Riquelme,  Caro,  Calvo,  and 
Cornel  were  neither  particularly  estimable  nor  wise  ; 
Count  de  Altamira,  who  had  succeeded  old  Florida- 
blanca  in  the  presidency,  was,  like  his  predecessor, 
a  lover  of  pomp,  and  an  adherent  of  the  old  regime, 
but  of  infinitely  inferior  ability  ;  in  person  and  mind 
more  resembling  a  baboon  than  a  man.  Nor  was 
the  Marquis  de  Villiel,  another  prominent  member, 
much  better  ;  but  against  these  unworthy  members 
must  be  placed  Jovellanos,  Saavedra,  and  Garay. 
The  first  was  now  an  elderly  man,  but  his  intellect 
and  his  love  of  enlightened  reform,  his  prescience 
and  his  prudence  were  as  brilliant  as  ever  ;  but  he 
was  in  a  minority  on  the  Junta.  Saavedra,  formerly 
an  able  Finance  Minister,  honest  and  well-meaning, 
had  now  lost  much  of  his  energy  ;  whilst  Garay, 
the  Minister  of  State,  was  a  plain,  laborious,  patriotic 
man,  who  did  his  best  to  keep  his  colleagues  on  the 
right  path. 

The  Junta  sat  in  full  dress,  with  swords,  every 
day,  and  nearly  all  day,  in  the  beautiful  old 
Alcazar  of  Seville,  and  the  work  was  divided  amongst 
various  committees.  The  members,  originally  elected 
by  the  provincial  Juntas,  were  mainly  the  creatures 
of  chance,  and,  as  has  already  been  pointed  out,  had 


assumed  powers  and  titles  which  were  never  for  a 
moment  contemplated  by  their  constitutent  bodies. 
The  country  was  in  a  state  of  division  and  anarchy, 
mostly  occupied  by  foreign  armies,  and  the  people 
were  practically  new  to  really  representative  institu- 
tions of  any  sort ;  and  although  satires  and  pasquins 
against  the  pomposity  and  general  ineptitude  of  the 
Junta  were  abundant,  there  was  not  sufficient  organised 
opposition — even  if  it  had  been  possible — to  take  the 
management  of  affairs  out  of  its  hands  ;  the  popular 
hopes,  as  expressed  by  the  Provincial  Juntas,  being 
founded  mainly  upon  the  assembly  of  a  representative 
Cortes  which  could  speak  with  authority.  This  was 
a  mistake,  but  a  natural  one.  What  the  country 
needed  was  not  yet  a  strong  legislative  power,  but 
a  really  honest,  able,  and  powerful  executive,  which 
the  Junta  was  not,  for  its  constitution  was  accidental, 
its  majority  reactionary,  but  weak,  and  many  of  its 
members  vicious,  treacherous,  or  corrupt. 

The  Junta  itself,  with  the  exception  of  Jovellanos, 
Garay,  and  a  few  of  the  more  enlightened  members, 
were  not  enthusiastic  about  the  assembly  of  a  Cortes. 
They  had  ordered  exhaustive  studies  to  be  undertaken 
for  a  year  past  to  decide  upon  the  constitution  of 
the  Chambers,  but  as  the  time  approached  for  the 
meeting  its  "  Majesty  "  the  Junta  hardly  concealed  the 
apprehensions  it  entertained  that  its  own  days  of  power 
were  numbered.  As  a  movement  of  self-defence 
the  Junta  decided,  greatly  to  the  disgust  of  its  more 
intelligent  members,  to  entrust  its  executive  power 
to  a  committee  of  six  of  its  number,  chosen  from 
the  more  unworthy  and  retrograde  element. 



Although  Wellesley's  retreat  after  Talavera  caused 
consternation    to    the    patriots,    Blake    in    Cataluna 
(where    the    splendid    heroism    of   Gerona    kept    the 
French  in  check  for  months),  the  Duke  del  Parque, 
who    gained    a   great    victory   over    Marchand    near 
Salamanca,   General    Santocildes    in    Leon,  and    the 
guerrilleros  everywhere,  kept  the  French   constantly 
employed.     With  the  object  of  rehabilitating    itself 
before   the    Cortes  met  in    January,  the   Junta   was 
ill  advised  enough  to  order  an  attempt  to  follow  up 
del  Parque's  victory  by  the  capture  of  Madrid,  and 
instructed   Eguia,  who  had  now  replaced  Cuesta  in 
chief  command,    to    concentrate    all    the    forces    of 
Estremadura  and    the   Mancha   for    an    advance  on 
the  capital.     Eguia  was  incompetent  and  irresolute, 
and    was    out-manoeuvred    by  Victor  at    the   outset. 
Seeing  this,  he  and  his  army  fled  south  to  the  Sierra 
Morena,  and  there  begged  the  Junta  to  reinforce  him. 
Instead  of  this  he  was  dismissed,  and  replaced   by 
Areizaga,  who  then  proceeded  towards  Madrid.     At 
a  place  called  Ocana,  near  Aranjuez,  the  two  armies 
met  (October  i8th),  both  being  about  48,000  strong  ; 
and  the   rush   of  Sabatini's   cavalry   bore  all    before 
it.      The    Spanish    levies    became    a    hustling    mob 
seeking  safety  where   they  might.     Arms  and   uni- 
forms were  cast  away  in  utter  panic,  and  in  many 
cases  whole   companies  surrendered   to   a  couple  of 
mounted  Frenchmen.     5,000  Spaniards  lay  dead  on 
the  field,   5,000  more  surrendered  in   a  body,  there 
being     13,000    Spanish    prisoners    in    all,    with     50 
cannons,  and   all   the   flags,    munitions,   and   stores. 
The  whole  Spanish  army  in   fact  was   annihilated, 


and  the  panic-stricken  Central  Junta,  when  it  heard 
the  news  that,  even  in  Seville,  its  "  Majesty '"'  was  not 
safe,  began  to  hint  ominously  of  flight  to  Cadiz, 
standing  on  its  island,  with  an  English  fleet  in  the 

The  Junta  itself  now  was  a  mass  of  contrary 
ambitions  and  jealousies.  Palafox  aimed  at  a  dicta- 
torship of  xA.ragon,  the  Marquis  de  la  Romana  was 
intriguing  for  the  regency  of  Spain  ;  plot  and 
counterplot  occupied  the  thoughts  of  all  parties,  and 
on  every  side  the  national  cause  was  postponed  to 
personal  greed  ;  except  in  the  sound-hearted  rank 
and  file  of  the  people,  whose  undivided  wish  was  to 
free  their  land  from  gabacJios — no  matter  how ; 
whilst  unworthy  Fernando  in  his  prison-palace  at 
Valen^ay  was  crawling  at  the  feet  of  the  Emperor, 
and  excelling  himself  in  servility  in  his  congratu- 
lations on  the  birth  of  an  heir  to  ''our  august 
sovereigns   the  great   Napoleon  and   Marie  Louise." 

At  the  end  of  1809  the  national  cause  was  in  ap- 
pearance black  enough.  After  indescribable  heroism 
Gerona  had  at  last  succumbed,  and  Aragon  and 
Cataluna  lay  at  the  mercy  of  the  invader.  The  Spanish 
organised  forces  in  Leon  had  been  scattered,  and 
a  similar  fate  had  befallen  the  armies  in  the  Mancha 
and  Estremadura ;  but  withal  the  hundreds  of  small 
bands  of  guerrilleros,  particularly  those  under  the 
famous  "  Empecinado "  in  Castile,  kept  the  enemy 
in  continual  alarm;  Valencia,  Murcia,  and  Andalusia, 
were  still  free  from  Frenchmen,  as  were  also  the 
mountains  of  the  north-west.  In  other  words,  the 
organised   armies   of  Spain,  such  as  they  were,  had 


been  beaten  everywhere  ;  but  the  Spanish  nation 
itself,  outside  of  officialdom,  was  as  sturdy  as  ever 
in  its  determination  to  cast  out  the  invader,  or  die 
in  the  attempt.  It  was  clear  to  Napoleon  that  if  the 
nation  was  to  be  conquered,  he  must  strike  at  the 
focus  of  the  national  defence,  the  seat  of  government 
in  Andalusia  ;  and  against  it  he  sent  a  fresh  army 
of  55,000  men,  headed  by  Joseph  himself 

The  Junta  was  in  a  panic,  anarchy  and  treachery 
reigned  everywhere,  even  in  Seville  itself;  and  no 
serious  resistance  was  offered  to  the  French  in  their 
march  southward.  The  Junta  and  its  government  fled 
precipitately  to  Cadiz  (January  19,  1810),  as  the  last 
bulwark  of  Spanish  liberty  ;  leaving  Seville  a  prey 
to  a  self-appointed  revolutionary  council,  which 
attempted  to  exercise  sovereign  powers,  until  the 
French  took  possession  of  the  city,  and  put  an  end 
to  its  imbecility.  The  Central  Junta  had  now  lost 
all  prestige.  The  public  voice,  such  as  it  was,  began 
to  clamour  for  reform  in  earnest,  whilst  the  Junta 
became  more  reactionary  every  day.  Weak,  violent, 
and  self-seeking  as  it  was,  it  saw  at  last  that,  though 
it  could  not  preserve  its  own  corporate  existence,  it 
might  hamper  popular  reform,  and  save  the  interests 
it  really  represented,  by  appointing  a  regency  of 
five  of  its  members  with  full  despotic  power  ;  and, 
this  being  done,  the  Central  Junta  dissolved  itself 
(January  31,  1810). 

Pending  the  assembly  of  the  Cortes,  the  Regency 
of  Five  was  therefore  nominally  supreme  over  Spain, 
except  in  the  actual  presence  of  French  bayonets,  but 
was  itself  cooped  up  in  the  isle  of  Leon,  upon  which 


the  city  of  Cadiz  stands,  and  was  closely  beleaguered 
by  the  invadera.  The  Regents  themselves,  with  the 
exception  of  Saavedra,  who  was  old  and  failing,  were 
reactionaries  of  no  ability  or  distinction,^  and  they 
were  aided  in  their  intrigues  to  prevent  the  coming 
Cortes  from  adopting  innovations  by  the  incite- 
ments of  the  Royal  Council  recently  reappointed  by 
the  Regency,  consisting,  as  it  naturally  did,  of  all 
that  was  most  despotic  and  jealous  of  change.  No 
words  too  hard  could  be  found  for  those  who  held 
or  propagated  ideas  of  reform  in  the  institutions  of 
the  country. 

The  official  classes  and  their  royal  masters 
between  them  had  by  their  baseness,  corruption, 
and  folly  handed  over  Spain  to  the  foreigner  ;  the 
mass  of  the  people  out  of  sheer  doglike  loyalty 
were  cheerfully  sacrificing  their  lives,  and  all  they 
held  dear,  to  win  back  for  the  unworthy  ones  the 
realm  they  had  lost.  And  yet  in  this  supreme 
moment,  with  the  guns  of  French  besiegers  thunder- 
ing in  their  ears,  the  main  thought  of  the  Regency 
and  the  ridiculous  Royal  Council  was  how  to  suppress 
and  punish  those  who  asked  that  the  people  should 
have  some  voice,  however  humble,  in  the  government 
of  the  country  which  could  only  be  won  back  by 
their  blood  and  patriotism.  Again  and  again,  on 
various  pretexts,  the  meeting  of  the  Cortes  was 
postponed  ;     every    conceivable    obstacle — and    they 

'  The  Regency  consisted  of  the  Bishop  of  Orense  (Quevedo  y 
Quintana),  Saavedra,  General  Castanos,  Admiral  Escano,  and  Fer- 
nandez de  Leon,  soon  replaced  by  Lardizabal,  representing  the 



were  already  sufficiently  formidable — was  interposed 
to  the  election  of  deputies  :  in  vain  the  Provincial 
Juntas  clamoured,  and  the  now  awakened  people 
protested  ;  reasons  for  delay  were  always  ready. 

The  Conservatives  desired  the  Cortes  to  be  elected 
on  the  ancient  plan,  by  the  official  municipalities  of 
certain  cities,  and  to  sit  together  with  representatives 
of  the  nobles  and  the  clergy  ;  others,  more  advanced, 
wished  for  the  English  system  of  a  House  of  Lords 
and  a  separate  popular  chamber  ;  whilst  the  most 
radical  elements  were  in  favour  of  a  single  elective 
congress  which  should  be  invested  with  the  national 
sovereignty.  A  more  important  point  still  was  that 
of  the  mode  of  election.  It  was  obvious  that  the 
ancient  Cortes  of  Castile,  consisting  of  a  very  few 
members  nominated  by  the  Town  Councils,  was  in 
the  circumstances  out  of  the  question.  Aragon, 
Cataluna,  Navarre,  Valencia,  and  the  Basque  Pro- 
vinces were  as  deeply  interested  in  the  national 
defence  as  Castile,  and  they  clamoured  for  representa- 
tion. Only  after  much  discussion  was  it  finally  de- 
cided by  the  Regents  to  give  the  suffrage  to  all  resident 
adult  men,  with  a  member  for  every  50,000  souls. 
These  voters  were  to  elect  Parish  Councils,  which 
in  their  turn  were  to  elect  District  Councils,  and  the 
latter  the  Provincial  Councils,  which  at  last  were  to 
elect  the  national  deputies.  To  these  were  to  be  added, 
for  this  Cortes  only,  a  member  for  each  of  the  eighteen 
cities  which  had  the  right  of  representation  in  old 
times,  and  a  member  for  each  Provincial  Junta. 
This  was  perhaps  as  much  as  it  was  wise  to  give  at 
first  to  a  people  who  had  lost  the  tradition  of  self- 

THE    CORTES    OF   CADIZ.  1 6/ 

government,  but  it  will  be  understood  that,  in  a 
country  mainly  occupied  by  foreign  enemies  who 
punished  with  death  those  who  professed  allegiance 
to  the  Government  of  Cadiz,  the  material  diffi- 
culties of  so  complicated  an  election  were  great. 

Nor     were    the     questions    with     regard    to     the 
Colonial  representation  easily  settled.     The  Radicals 
were    in    favour    of    placing    the    suffrage    for    the 
Colonies    on    the   same    footing   as    for    the    mother 
country  ;    but  they  were  overborne  by  the  Regency, 
who  decreed  that  the  Town  Councils  in  Spanish  pos- 
sessions abroad   should   select  members  to  form  Pro- 
vincial Councils,  who  should  send  to  Spain  a  deputy 
for  each  province.^     Doubtless  the  Regents  imagined 
that  these  many  safeguards  would  give  them  a  tract- 
able   Cortes,  but    in  this   they  were   mistaken.     The 
country  was   in  a  fever  of  patriotism,  and   only  men 
who  spoke  fluently  and  strongly  had  a  chance.  These, 
naturally,  were  for  the  most  part  lawyers  and  literary 
men,  who  had   received  such  enlightenment  as  they 
possessed  through  French  culture,  and  were  vaguely 
imbued  with  the  theories  which   produced   the  earlier 
French  Revolution.     Such  men,  with  a   sprinkling  of 
priests  from  the  Basque  Provinces,  and  a  few  soldiers 
and  local   politicians,  formed   the   Cortes  which   was 

'  It  was  arranged  that  the  members  for  the  Colonies  and  for  those 
parts  of  Spain  which,  being  occupied  by  the  French,  could  not  elect 
representatives  freely,  should  be  provisionally  chosen  by  and  from  the 
natives  of  the  respective  provinces  who  happened  to  be  resident  in 
Cadiz  at  the  time.  The  number  of  substitutes  thus  chosen  were  thirty  for 
the  Colonies  and  twenty-three  for  Spain.  This  was  unquestionably  the 
weak  point  of  the  Cortes  of  1812,  and  gave  to  its  far-reaching  and  bold 
measures  less  authority  than  they  otherwise  would  have  had. 


to    take    so    momentous    a    step    in    the   history    of 
Spain  as  to  change  her  form  of  government. 

Their  very  constitution,  to  begin  with,  was  an  im- 
portant innovation,  and  was  looked  upon  by  the  friends 
and  representatives  of  the  absent  Fernando  with 
unconcealed  dislike  ;  but  when  the  personality  and 
views  of  the  members  became  known,  then  dislike 
turned  to  dismay  and  apprehension.  The  Royal 
Council  and  the  Council  of  Castile  (abolished  by 
Napoleon  but  rehabilitated  by  the  Regency  in  Cadiz) 
made  all  manner  of  claims,  on  the  grounds  of  ancient 
usage,  to  interfere  ;  the  Regents  almost  in  despair  at 
having  to  deal  with  so  democratic  a  body  as  the  new 
Cortes,  postponed  the  meeting  as  long  as  they  dared ; 
but  the  members  were  waiting  impatiently,  and  at 
length  the  step  had  to  be  taken,  though  with  a 
bad  grace  and  much  misgiving. 

The  first  representative  parliament  Spain  had 
seen  for  centuries  met  on  the  24th  of  September, 
1 8 10,  at  San  Fernando,  near  Cadiz,  amidst  a  scene 
of  patriotic  exaltation  such  as  has  rarely  been 
witnessed,  even  in  that  impressionable  land.  Pro- 
foundly impressed  by  the  historic  importance  of  their 
meeting,  the  members  opened  their  sitting  with  full 
religious  ceremony,  the  High  Mass  being  celebrated 
by  Godoy's  brother-in-law,  the  Cardinal  Archbishop 
of  Toledo,  Don  Luis  de  Borbon  ;  ^  and  in  the  name  of 

'  He  was  the  only  member  of  his  family  who  had  escaped  the  net  of 
Napoleon.  On  the  abdication  of  his  cousins  in  favour  of  the  Emperor, 
he  wrote  from  Toledo  an  abject  letter  of  submission  to  the  usurper,  in 
which  he  spoke  of,  "  la  douce  obligation  de  mettre  aux  pieds  de  Votre 
Majestc  I'hommage  de  mon  amour,  de  ma  fidelite,  et  de  mon  respect. 
Que  Votre  Majeste  imperiale  et  royale  daigne  me  reconnaitre  comme  son 
plus  fidele  sujet." 

THE    CORTES    OF  CADIZ.  1 69 

the  nation  they  solemnly  swore  on  the  Gospels  to 
tolerate  no  other  faith  than  that  of  Rome  and  to  own 
no  other  monarch  than  Fernando.  The  sittings  took 
place  in  the  local  theatre,  there  being  only  the  one 
elective  chamber,  and  almost  the  first  words  spoken 
were  those  of  the  Bishop  of  Orense,  tendering  the 
resignation  of  the  Regents  into  the  hands  of  the 
Cortes.  The  step  was  probably  taken  thus  early  in 
order  to  place  the  new  assembly  in  a  difficult  position 
and  with  the  hope  that,  whilst  still  inexperienced  and 
unorganised,  it  would  fail  and  discredit  itself  in  the 
sudden  exercise  of  supreme  government.  The  demo- 
cratic leaders  of  the  Cortes,  of  whom  the  chief  was 
Arguelles,  were,  however,  equal  to  the  occasion,  and 
declined  to  accept  the  resignation  of  the  Regents 
until  the  Cortes  had  settled  down.  Whatever  may 
have  been  the  faults  of  the  new  governing  power  want 
of  boldness  and  energy  was  certainly  not  amongst 
them.  Almost  its  first  act  was  to  assert  the  sove- 
reignty of  the  Cortes  and  assume  the  already  much- 
abused  title  of  Majesty.  The  legislative,  judicial,  and 
executive  powers  were  separated  ;  the  inviolability  of 
the  deputies  asserted,  and  the  oath  to  respect  the 
sovereignty  of  the  people  in  Cortes  was  obligatory  on 
all,  a  provision  which  met  with  much  resistance  from 
Conservatives,  especially  from  the  Bishop  of  Orense. 
Other  subjects  divided  the  two  schools  of  politicians, 
such  as  the  liberation  of  the  press,  and  the  abolition  of 
the  censorship,  which  was  carried  by  sixty  votes  against 
thirty-two  ;  and  the  two  parties  were  now  called,  for 
the  first  time,  respectively,  "  Liberals  "  and  "  Serviles," 
the  former  being  led  by  Arguelles  and   the  Count  dfe 


Toreno,  and  the  latter  by  Francisco  Gutierrez  de  la 

In  an  assembly  thus  constituted,  and  with  no 
traditions  or  old  procedure  to  guide  it,  the  debates, 
as  maybe  imagined,  were  loose,  and  frequently  violent 
and  undignified  ;  personal  questions  occupied  a  great 
share  of  the  time,  whilst  the  fatal  gift  of  fluency 
belonging  to  Southern  races  made  the  proceedings 
almost  interminable.  The  resignation  of  the  original 
Regency  was  accepted  a  few  weeks  after  the  first 
meeting  of  the  Cortes,  and  a  new  executive  was  ap- 
pointed, consisting  of  Joaquin  Blake,  Gabriel  de 
Siscar,  and  Pedro  Agar  ;  but  as  the  first  two  were 
outside  the  city,  others  were  temporarily  appointed  to 
replace  them,  one  of  the  substitutes,  the  Marquis  de 
Palacio,  being  at  once  arrested  and  placed  on  his  trial 
for  hesitating  to  take  the  necessary  oath  recognising 
the  sovereignty  of  the  Cortes. 

Whilst  the  representatives  of  the  people  were 
imitating  the  French  National  Convention,  discussing 
infinitely  vague  theories,  wrangling  over  personal 
trifles,  voting  salaries  for  the  members,  and  reducing 
the  emoluments  of  every  other  State  official,  King 
Joseph  outside  was  master  of  Andalusia,  except  the 
extreme  point  comprising  Gibraltar,  Tarifa,  and  Cadiz, 
held  by  General  Graham,  with  a  force  of  English  and 
Portuguese,  and  a  Spanish  army  of  14,000  under  the 
Duke  of  Alburquerque.  Hardly  a  day  passed  without 
some  skirmish  near  Cadiz  ;  from  Gibraltar  and  Tarifa 
the  English  constantly  delivered  harassing  attacks 
upon  Soult's  outposts,  in  conjunction  with  the  Spanish 
troops  at  San  Roque  and  Algeciras,  whilst  the  patriot 

THE    CORTES    OF   CADIZ.  \J\ 


forces  inside  Cadiz  by  frequent  sallies  seconded  the 
efforts  of  their  allies. 

All  round  Cadiz  Bay  the  French  were  posted,  and, 
by  land,  little  communication  was  possible  between  the 
national  government  and  the  north  of  Spain.  But 
Admiral  Purvis  and  the  British  fleet  held  the  sea,  and 
messages  of  encouragement,  orders  for  the  organisa- 
tion of  the  defence,  and  assurances  of  eventual  victory, 
were  borne  by  swift  cruisers  to  the  rest  of  the  Peninsula 
from  the  island  city.  In  the  meanwhile  the  war  was 
being  carried  on  without  cessation  by  guerrilleros^ 
especially  by  the  Empecinado  and  Mina,  and  by  the 
remnants  of  the  army,  which  had  been  reorganised, 
in  Estremadura  and  in  the  extreme  north-west  of  Spain. 
Wellington  had  been  obliged  to  retreat  before  Massena 
and  had  at  length  prevailed  upon  the  British  Govern- 
ment to  authorise  a  new  plan  of  campaign  with 
greater  forces,  which  should  enable  him,  as  they 
ultimately  did,  to  sweep  the  French  from  the  Penin- 
sula. The  base  of  the  new  operations  was  Portugal, 
and  here  Wellington  was  stubbornly  fighting  Massena, 
on  the  lines  of  Torres  Vedras,  near  Lisbon,  breaking 
the  spirit  of  the  French  troops  and  weakening  their 
belief  in  the  generals,  until  the  Spaniards  were  ready 
and  the  time  was  ripe  for  an  advance  in  force  into 
Spain  with  the  enormous  army  which  he  had  gradually 
got  together.! 

But  the  anxieties  of  the  new  representative  Govern- 
ment were  not  confined  to  the  Peninsula.  The  revolt 
of  the  English-American  colony  and  the  overthrow 
of  ancient  institutions  in  Europe,  had  produced  their 

'  Seventy  thousand  regular  troops  and  60,000  irregulars. 


natural  effect  in  Spanish-America,  and  on  more  than 
one  occasion  since  1790  there  had  been  attempts 
at  separation  from  the  mother  country.  At  the 
first  news  of  the  French  perfidy  in  1808  the  fever 
of  loyalty  to  Fernando  and  indignation  against  the 
invader  had  spread  from  the  Peninsula  to  the  depen- 
dencies ;  but  the  baseness  displayed  by  the  official 
bodies  in  Spain,  the  folly  and  ineptitude  which 
marked  the  course  of  the  Central  Junta,  and  the 
anarchy  which  reigned  in  the  mother  country,  gave 
rise  gradually  to  a  feeling  of  impatience  amongst  the 
younger  Creole  inhabitants  of  the  Colonies.  There 
was  but  little  intercommunication  between  the  various 
American  dependencies,  and  no  general  plan  of 
revolt ;  but  first  Venezuela,  and  then  Buenos  Ayres 
and  New  Granada,  proclaimed  their  independence  in 
the  spring  of  18 10,  without  hindrance  from  the  autho- 
rities or  the  troops,  while  Chile  and  Mexico,  a  prey  to 
civil  war,  were  rapidly  advancing  in  the  same  direc- 
tion. The  overburdened  and  inexperienced  Cortes  of 
theorists  endeavoured  to  conjure  away  the  evil  by 
palliatives  and  tardy  concessions  ;  but  the  central 
Government  had  now  neither  power  nor  prestige 
abroad  ;  besieged  in  its  own  city  at  the  extreme 
corner  of  Spain,  with  a  French  king  seated  in  the 
ancient  capital  of  the  realm,  its  hold  upon  the  vast 
continent  across  the  Atlantic  slackened,  rapidly  and 
irretrievably,  while  the  mother  country  was  struggling 
for  her  own  independence.^ 

'  An  interesting  report  was  presented  to  the  Cortes  at  this  period, 
iSii,  showing  the  revenue  and  expenditure  on  the  whole  of  the  Colonies. 
It  appears  that  the  net  amount  reaching  the  home  Government  hom 


The  main  question,  however,   which  occupied  the 
Cortes    of  Cadiz    was    to    devise    a    new    charter  for 
Spain,  which  should  restore  to  the  people  the  popular 
liberties  of  which   successive  kings  had  filched  them, 
curb  the  privileged  classes,  and  limit  the  royal  autho- 
rity for  the  future.     This   is  not  the   place  to  discuss 
the  wisdom  of  the  moment   chosen   for  so  important 
a  constitutional   change  :  there  is  much  to  be  said  for 
both  sides  of  the  question.     The  circumstances  of  the 
country  made  impossible  a  free   and   complete  repre- 
sentation of  the  people  such  as  was  desirable  for  the 
adoption  of  measures  altering  the  bases  of  the  national 
life  ;  and   the  enforced   silence  in  exile  of  the  King, 
who  was  one  of  the  parties  principally  affected  by  the 
change,  would  seem  to  render   inevitable  the  conflict 
which     afterwards    occurred    between    him    and  the 
reformers,  as  a  consequence  of  their  action.     On  the 
other  hand,  the  friends  of  progress,  with  some  reason, 
pointed  out  that  a  return  to  the  old  despotism  was 
impossible  after  the  abandonment  of  the  country  by 
the  royal  family  ;    and  that  the  sacrifices  and  heroism 
which    the    people    had    displayed    on    behalf  of  the 
national  independence  rendered  them  worthy  of  the 
domestic    liberties    which,    now    that    they   had    the 
opportunity,  they  asserted  for  themselves. 

Early  in  1811  a  commission  was  appointed  to  draw 
up   a    fundamental    political   constitution   for    Spain, 

Mexico  was  only  ;^ioo,ooo  a  year,  whilst  Guatemala,  Chile,  Cuba,  and 
the  Philippines  sent  nothing.  On  the  other  hand  Santa  Fe  produced  a 
profit  of  ^160,000  ;  Caracas,  ;!^40,ooo  ;  Buenos  Ayres,  ^500,000  ;  and 
Peru,  ;if^6oo,ooo ;  the  total  net  amount  contributed  to  the  home 
Government  by  the  possessions  abroad  being  in  round  figures 
;^  1, 400, 000. 

1/4  ^^^^   PENINSULAR    WAR. 

and  the  chamber  transferred  its  sittings  to  the 
church  of  St.  Phihp  Neri,  in  the  city  of  Cadiz  itself 
During  the  long  period  of  discussion  and  dispute  as 
to  the  terms  of  the  new  constitution,  the  Cortes  and 
its  executive  strained  every  nerve  to  carry  on  the  war. 
The  Spanish  armies  had  now  been  reconstituted  and 
divided  into  six  corps,  and  Massena,  finding  his  retreat 
from  Torres  Vedras  threatened  by  the  native  levies  of 
Leon  and  Castile,  gradually  had  to  fall  back  into 
Spain  constantly  followed  by  Wellington.  Olivenza, 
Fuentes  de  Oiioro,  Almeida,  Albuera,  Ciudad  Rodrigo, 
and  at  last  the  terrible  carnage  of  the  storming  of 
Badajoz,  stand  for  ever  as  the  guide  posts  of  the 
English  renewed  advance,  whilst  on  all  sides,  from 
Galicia  to  Murcia  the  Spaniards  fought,  sometimes 
in  armies,  often  in  mere  bands ;  beaten  again  and  again, 
but  always  reassembling,  co-operating  loosely  with  the 
English,  but  preferring  independent  action. 

Napoleon's  difficulties  were  closing  round  him  ;  it 
was  not  easy  to  send  the  constant  reinforcements  re- 
quired, and  he  bitterly  and  unjustly  blamed  Joseph 
for  not  doing  the  impossible.  Both  the  "  intrusive 
King  "  and  the  Cortes  were  at  their  wits'  end  to  raise 
funds  out  of  the  desolated  country.  The  former 
could  depend  upon  little  but  what  he  obtained 
from  Madrid,  which  was  taxed  to  an  unheard-of 
extent,  until  famine  and  misery  were  universal. 
Joseph  tried  to  make  the  people  forget  their  troubles 
by  giving  them  bull-fights  and  shows,  but  all  in  vain, 
for  he  was  a  Frenchman  ;  and  the  French  armies 
were  burning  houses  and  slaughtering  citizens  sus- 
pected of  patriotism   wherever   the    eagles    reached. 


Distracted  Joseph  sometimes  would  fain  have  been 
rid  of  his  brother's  troops  and  his  brother's  impe- 
rious interference,  and  have  tried  his  own  way  of  con- 
cihation.  Once,  indeed,  he  made  distinct  advances 
to  the  Government  of  Cadiz,  but  without  avail,  for 
still  the  cry  of  every  Spaniard  was,  "  Death  to  the 
French  and  long  live  Fernando !  "  The  Cadiz  Go- 
vernment, too,  had  to  face  (1811)  a  crushing  deficit; 
the  debt  having  now  reached  over  ^72,000,000  sterling, 
without  counting  the  cost  of  the  vv^ar,  and  the 
annual  returns  of  revenue  were  calculated  at  only 
^2,600,000,  whilst  the  expenditure,  without  the  ser- 
vice of  the  debt,  was  placed  at  ^12,250,000  sterling, 
A  special  war  income-tax,  graduated  from  2.\  to  70 
per  cent,  was  decreed,  and  other  extraordinary 
measures  were  taken,  but,  as  will  be  understood,  the 
Cadiz  Government  was  forced  to  look  mainly  to 
England  and  to  the  Provincial  Juntas  to  sustain  the 
cost  of  the  war. 

In  January,  1812,  the  Cortes  adopted  the  new  Con- 
stitution, which  was  to  regenerate  Spain.  Instead  of 
gradually  widening  the  existing  or  traditional  insti- 
tutions of  the  country  the  members  of  the  forward 
party,  nearly  all  of  them  partisans  of  the  French 
Revolution,  devised  an  entirelv  fresh  code,  foreign 
both  in  spirit  and  form,  by  which  the  wliole  national 
life  was  remodelled  in  an  enactment  of  ten  chapters 
containing  348  clauses.  The  abstract  sovereignty  of 
the  nation  was  reasserted,  the  Catholic  religion  alone 
acknowledged,  and  the  monarchy  was  to  be  hereditary 
under  the  parliamentary  constitution.  The  legisla- 
tive power  was  vested  in  the  single  chamber  Cortes 


1/6  THE    PENINSULAR     WAR. 

with  the  King,  the  executive  in  the  King's  ministers 
only,  and  the  judicial  in  the  judges  ;  the  Parhaments 
were  to  be  indirectly  elected  by  equal  electoral 
districts  of  70,ooo  souls,  on  a  residential  manhood 
suffrage,  and  were  to  be  summoned  yearly,  the 
royal  veto  upon  acts  being  confined  to  three 
rejections,  after  which  the  acts  became  law  in 
despite  of  the  King's  veto.  The  monarch  was 
prohibited  from  absenting  himself  from  the  realm, 
or  marrying  without  the  permission  of  the  Cortes, 
and  the  succession  was  fixed  on  the  old  Spanish 
basis,  like  that  of  England,  but  the  Infante  Don 
Francisco  de  Paula,  the  reputed  child  of  Godoy, 
was  excluded,  as  also  was  the  Queen  of  Etruria. 

There  were  to  be  seven  Secretaries  of  State,  namely. 
Foreign  Affairs,  Interior,  Colonies,  Justice,  Finance, 
War,  and  Marine,  and  the  ministers  were  responsible 
to  the  Cortes,  all  the  old  Spanish  Councils  being 
abolished,  except  a  Council  of  State  of  forty  persons 
nominated  by  the  Cortes  to  the  sovereign.  The 
judges  were  to  be  irremovable,  all  citizens  being 
equal  before  the  law,  and  the  inviolability  of  the 
subject  was  established.  The  taxes  were  to  be  voted 
only  by  the  Cortes,  by  whom  also  the  extent  of  the 
army  and  navy  was  to  be  fixed  ;  and,  above  all,  il 
was  decided  that  for  eight  years  at  least  no  alteration 
or  reform  whatever  should  be  introduced  into  the  Con- 
stitution itself  It  will  be  seen  that  this  was  to  create 
Spain  practically  a  republic  with  monarchical  forms, 
and  the  provisions  gave  rise  to  long  and  bitter  dis- 
cussion. Intrigues  on  the  part  of  the  nobles  and 
the   King's  friends   were  rife,  one  of  the   most  pro- 


mising  plans  being  to  appoint  the  Infanta  Carlota, 
Princess  of  Brazil,  Regent  of  Spain  ;  and  the  Liberals, 
although  able  to  prevent  this,  were  driven  to  con- 
sent to  the  appointment  of  a  new  constitutional 
regency  of  five  reactionaries,  including  the  Duke  of 
Infantado  and  Henry  O'Donnell,  Count  of  La 

On  the  19th  of  March,  181 2,  the  fourth  anniversary 
of  the  overthrow  of  Godoy,  the  new  Constitution  was 
solemnly  promulgated,  with  all  the  pomp  and  splen- 
dour that  a  besieged  city  could  provide.  Theatres, 
streets,  and  squares,  splendidly  illuminated,  were 
alive  with  people  mad  with  enthusiastic  rejoicing. 
At  last  Spain  had  indeed  broken  with  the  black 
past  of  tyranny,  misery,  and  oppression.  Happiness, 
justice,  and  prosperity  were  in  future  to  be-  the  rule 
of  life  ;  and  even  the  Conservatives  who  had  opposed 
the  enactment  were  caught  up  and  carried  away  with 
the  extravagant  hopes  of  a  new  Spanish  heaven  and 
earth  to  spring  from  the  charter  of  freedom  which 
the  184  representatives  of  the  people  ^  had  just  sworn 
to  keep  inviolate.  But  over  the  songs  of  joy  there 
boomed  the  French  guns  in  the  outskirts  of  the  city, 
and  the  camp  fires  of  the  invaders  vied  with  the 
illuminations  in  the  street.  The  Constitution  of 
Cadiz  was  to  protect  Spain  from  its  own  sovereigns  ; 

'  The  number  ot  members  for  different  parts  of  Spain  was  very 
unequal.  Thus  Galicia  sent  twenty- three  members,  and  Catalufia 
twenty,  whilst  Madrid  was  represented  by  one  substitute  only,  Biscay 
by  one  member,  and  the  kingdom  of  Leon  only  by  six.  The  kingdom 
of  Navarre,  with  a  population  of  271,000,  sent  one  deputy,  whilst 
Valencia,  with  1,000,000  people,  sent  nineteen  deputies. 



but  in  the  meanwhile  230,000  French  soldiers  inso- 
lently flaunted  their  Emperor's  eagles  from  the 
Pyrenees  to  the  narrow  straits,  and  ground  to  dust 
beneath  their  heels  the  independence  of  the  Spanish 





The  capture  of   Badajoz  had  driven  the  French 

western   army   back  to  Salamanca,  and   Wellington, 

leaving   Hill  to  look  after  Estremadura,  and  Balle- 

steros  to  harass  the  flanks  of  Soult    in    Andalusia, 

marched  the  main  body  of  the  English  army  slowly 

forward.     Napoleon  had  his  hands  full,  for  he  was 

plunged   into   his    disastrous   war   with    Russia,  and 

would  fain  have  been  well  rid  of  Spain  and  Joseph, 

who,  for  his    part,  was    utterly  tired  of  his  irksome 

crown.       He  had   more  than  hinted  that  he  would 

put    up    no    longer    with    his    humiliating    position, 

especially  if  the  Emperor  persisted  in  his  intention 

of    adding    the    north-east    of    Spain    to    his   own 

dominions ;    and    Napoleon,    well-nigh    at    his    wits' 

end,   thought   of  restoring  Fernando    to    his    throne 

again  under  his  protection  ;  authorising  Joseph  also, 

as  an  alternative,  to  make  approaches  to  the  Cortes, 

with  a  view  to  their  adopting    him  as   king    under 

the  Constitution  of  Cadiz.     When  this  latter  scheme 

fell  through,  Joseph  tried  to  assemble  a  rival  Cortes 




of  his  own  in  Madrid.  But  events  moved  rapidly. 
Madrid,  cut  off  now  from  supplies,  except  on  the 
north,  fell  a  prey  to  an  appalling  visitation  of  famine, 
which  killed  its  poorer  citizens  by  the  score  of 
thousands,  and  reduced  formerly  opulent  families  to 
begging  in  the  streets. ^ 

Wellington  was  slowly  pushing  back  Marmont  over 
the  Duero  into  Northern  Castile,  whilst  the  Marshals 
were  jealous  of  each  other ;  and  Soult  in  Andalusia 
refused  to  help  Joseph  or  Marmont  with  men.  The 
latter  general  had  evacuated  the  town  of  Salamanca 
on  Wellington's  approach,  and  had  been  partially 
beaten  in  the  outskirts  (June  28th) ;  and  on  the  22nd 
of  July  the  English  and  Spaniards  together  gained 
the  great  victory  of  Arapiles  (Salamanca),  forcing  the 
French  to  fly  with  heavy  loss  and  dire  confusion  north- 
ward, followed  by  the  allies,  who  entered  Valladolid  in 
triumph  (July  30th),  and  by  bands  of  guerrilleros, 
who  could  now  kill  the  straggling  gabacJios  to  their 
heart's  content.  When  it  was  too  late,  Joseph,  the 
intruder,  left  Madrid  with  10,000  men  to  help 
Marmont,  but  he  had  to  retreat  again  to  his  capital 
closely  followed  by  the  English. 

On  the  night  of  the  lOth  of  August,  1812,  there  ran 
through  the  famine-stricken  city  the  rumour  that  the 
gabachos  with  their  squinting  drunkard  of  a  king^  were 
evacuating  the  place,  and  in  the  morning  it  was  found 

'  This  awful  visitation  lasted  from  September,  181 1,  to  August,  1812. 
White  bread  was  sold  in  the  spring  of  l8l2  at  7s.  the  quartern  loaf,  the 
lowest  quality  costing  4s. 

-  It  was  believed  by  all  Spaniards  that  "Joey  Bottle,"  as  they  called 
the  king,  was  thus  afflicted. 


that  they  had  all,  but  the  sick  and  one  regiment, 
stolen  away  in  the  darkness.  In  Madrid  starvation 
was  forgotten,  misery,  oppression,  and  suspicion  were 
thrust  into  the  background,  and  the  city  went  crazy 
with  joy.  "  The  altars  blazed  with  votive  candles,  the 
streets  resounded  with  cheers  and  patriotic  harangues. 
"  Viva  Wellington  y  los  ingleses  ! "  was  the  universal 
cry,  and  before  the  sun  had  risen  high  through  the 
garlanded  capital  of  the  Castiles  there  marched  the 
liberating  army.  First  came  the  grim  guerrillero, 
"  the  Empecinado,"  and  his  fierce  bands  ;  then  the 
great  Wellington  himself  with  his  Spanish  colleagues, 
cruel  Don  Carlos  Espafia,  and  Wellington's  favourite 
friend,  Don  Miguel  de  Alava,  the  only  Spanish  general 
upon  whom  he  depended,  with  the  allied  army.  On 
the  same  day  Wellington,  from  his  quarters  in  the 
royal  palace,  issued  his  famous  decree,  which,  said 
the  Madrilenos,  was  more  like  an  ukase  of  ferocious 
Murat  than  the  proclamation  of  a  friend.  In  any 
case  it  was  to  the  point,  for  in  a  few  words  it  told 
Madrid  that  there  must  be  no  nonsense  :  order  must 
be  maintained,  the  armies  assisted,  and  the  function- 
aries continue  their  offices  as  usual ;  and  the  next 
day  the  Constitution  of  Cadiz  was  proclaimed  with 
all  solemnity. 

Gradually  the  people  saw  that  the  firm  hand  was 
not  an  unkindly  one,  although  Wellington's  dry  curt- 
ness  and  haughty  splendour  were  never  to  their  taste. 
But  for  a  time  the  English  soldiers  were  feasted  and 
made  much  of,  especially  the  Highlanders,  who  for 
some  unaccountable  reason  were  supposed  to  be  uienos 
hereges,  less  heretical,  than  the  rest.    The  Duke  sallied 

1 82  ''FERNANDO    THE   DESIRED." 

from  Madrid  on  the  1st  of  September  to  stand  in  force 
on  the  road  to  the  north,  leaving  Hill  with  a  small 
division  to  hold  in  check  Joseph's  army  on  the  south- 
east. After  the  first  rejoicing  was  over  the  Madrilefios 
were  inclined  to  be  fractious.  They  found  that  the 
entrance  of  a  liberating  army  had  not  produced,  as 
by  magic,  the  abundant  supplies  they  had  dreamt  of; 
and  that,  if  the  intrusive  Government  could  cruelly 
persecute  patriots,  General  Espafia,  the  patriot 
governor,  with  exaggerated  zeal  for  the  Constitution 
of  which  he  was  subsequently  so  bitter  a  foe,  could 
outdo  the  French  in  his  cruel  punishment  of  oppo- 
nents. The  rough  and  masterful  Englishmen,  too, 
did  not  get  on  well  with  the  expansive  citizens,  and 
there  grew  but  little  cordiality  between  them.  But 
discontent  changed  to  dismay  when  on  the  approach 
of  Joseph's  army  Hill  withdrew  the  little  garrison 
of  English  troops  left  in  Madrid,  and  considered  it 
necessary  to  blow  up  the  royal  porcelain  factory  of 
the  Retiro,  of  which  Madrid  was  so  proud. 

In  the  meanwhile  Soult  had  retired  from  before 
Cadiz,  loaded  with  loot,  and,  constantly  harassed  by 
the  Spaniards  under  Ballesteros,  had  evacuated  all 
Andalusia,  joining  Suchet  and  Joseph  on  the  borders 
of  Valencia,  and  thence  marching  with  them  towards 
Madrid.  Upon  this,  Wellington,  threatened  with 
overwhelming  numbers,  abandoned  the  northern 
road,  and  fell  back  towards  Portugal,  whilst  Joseph, 
brushing  aside  Hill  near  Aranjuez,  once  more 
entered  his  capital  on  the  3rd  of  November.  But 
only  for  a  few  days  this  time.  Starting  in  the  un- 
successful pursuit   of  Hill,  who   was  on  his  way  to 

NAPOLEONIC   LEGEND    WANING.        '         1 83 

join  Wellington  in  winter  quarters,  the  King  once  more 
left  the  bewildered  city  in  semi-anarchy,  with  the 
Empecinado  and  the  guerrilleros  killing  every  stray 
gabacho  in  the  outskirts,  and  the  French  in  the 
city  still  affecting  to  govern.  But  they  were  no 
longer  the  ferocious  oppressors  they  had  formerly 

^  The  Madrilenos  knew,  as  did  the  rest  of  the  world, 
that  the  Napoleonic  legend  was  waning,  and  that 
in  Spain,  at  any  rate,  the  French  cause  was  a  losing 
one.  Joseph  himself  came  back  to  Madrid  for  the  last 
time  on  the  3rd  of  December,  1812.  He  was  all  smiles, 
but  no  one  heeded  him  much,  for  the  news  came 
before  long  of  the  Emperor's  terrible  plight  in  Russia, 
and  the  Anglo-S-panish  armies  were  standing  strong 
and  ready  to  give  the  coup  de grace  to  the  "intruding" 
Government.  Soult  was  hurried  away  with  a  division 
to  help  his  master  in  Germany,  and  Spain  saw  him 
no  more ;  and  the  other  French  forces  were  weakened 
for  similar  reasons,  whilst  Joseph  in  Madrid  grew  more 
and  more  anxious.  At  last  it  became  evident  that 
the  south  of  Spain,  at  least,  could  not  be  held,  and 
Joseph,  at  his  brother's  orders,  packed  up  his  regal 
belongings  for  the  last  time,  and  not  his  own  alone, 
but  all  those  of  others  that  he  could  lay  his  hands  on. 
Churches  and  palaces  were  swept  of  their  precious 
contents  ;  priceless  canvases,  jewels,  and  plate  ; 
ancient  archives,  sacred  relics — all  was  fish  that  came 
to  the  net  of  the  retiring  intruders.  For  this  time 
Joseph  did  not  go  alone.  All  his  countrymen  and 
friends,  ministers,  servants,  and  sympathisers  pre- 
ferred exile  and  oblivion  to  the  tender  mercies  which 

1 84  "  FERNANDO    THE   DESIRED." 

the    loyal    Spaniards  dealt  out  to  their  compatriots 
who  had  as  much  as  smiled  upon  the  gabachos. 

Madrid  was  finally  cleared  of  them  at  the  end  of 
May,  18 1 3,  and  long  lines  of  coaches,  as  far  as  the 
eye  could  reach,  stretched  over  the  brown  plain, 
carrying  the  plunder  to  France.  Much  of  it  never  got 
there,  for  Wellington  had  laid  his  plans  well,  and  the 
mass  of  the  Anglo-Spanish  armies  lay  across  Joseph's 
way  at  Vitoria.j^  On  the  21st  of  June  the  great  battle 
was  fought :  by  sunset  the  French  were  a  flying 
mob,  and  Joseph  had  only  just  escaped,  leaving  much 
of  his  costly  loot,  and  even  his  own  carriage  and 
private  papers  in  the  hands  of  the  victors.  The 
rest  of  the  glorious  campaign  can  hardly  be  con- 
sidered a  part  of  the  history  of  Spain,  for  with 
Vitoria  Joseph's  connection  with  the  realm  was 
ended,  and  Wellington's  victorious  march  northward 
across  the  Bidasoa  was  only  driving  home  the  victory 
already  gained. 

y  Spain  was  ready  now  to  welcome  its  beloved 
Fernando,  whom  we  left  in  his  palace-prison  at 
Valencay  in  1808.  What  had  been  his  attitude 
during  the  five  years  that  his  devoted  countrymen 
had  been  struggling  and  suffering  for  his  sake  ? 
Dancing,  fencing,  and  dallying — for  Talleyrand  could 
never  get  them  to  take  any  interest  in  books — 
Fernando,  his  brother,  and  his  uncle  had  passed 
the  time  as  pleasantly  as  exiles  could.  Over  and 
over  again  attempts  had  been  made  by  his  friends  to 
plan  an  escape  to  Spain,  but  the  prince,  either  from 
caution  or  dislike,  would  never  listen  and  sometimes 
betrayed    them,    and    had    humbled    himself  to    the 


1 86  "FERNANDO    THE   DESIRED.''^ 

dust  beneath  the  hand  of  his  oppressor.^  He  still 
yearned  for  a  marriage  with  a  Bonaparte;  cringed 
in  servile  adulation  when  the  King  of  Rome  was 
born,  and  basely  congratulated  the  Emperor  when 
he  had  gained  a  victory  over  the  Spaniards. 
Napoleon,  as  the  clouds  grew  darker  around  him, 
thought  it  might  not  be  a  bad  thing  to  restore 
Fernando  and  make  a  tool  of  him,  and  in  December, 
1813,  the  so-called  treaty  of  Valencay  was  signed, 
by  which,  on  certain  conditions,  Napoleon  recognised 
Fernando  as  King  of  Spain.  The  latter  was  willing 
to  agree  to  anything,  but  not  so  the  Constitutional 
Regency.  One  of  the  clauses  of  the  treaty  was  that 
the  English  should  be  expelled  from  Spain,  but  when 
it  was  presented  to  the  new  Cortes  in  Madrid  it  was 
rejected,  and  Fernando  remained  a  prisoner.  But 
not  for  much  longer.  Wellington's  advance  into 
France  was  rapid,  and  by  the  end  of  March  Fer- 
nando was  able  to  leave  his  place  of  confinement 
and  return  unconditionally  to  the  desolated  land 
that  yearned  for  him. 

The  Cortes  in  Cadiz  had  continued  to  pass  radical 
measures  of  reform  in  all  directions.V  The  Inquisition 
had  been  abolished,  the  privileges  of  the  clergy  still 

'  With  relation  to  his  matrimonial  suit  for  a  Bonaparte  princess, 
Fernando  had  the  baseness  to  write  to  Napoleon  from  Valencay  as 
follows  :  "I  venture  to  say  that  this  union  and  the  publicity  of  my 
desires,  which  I  will  make  known  to  Europe  if  your  Majesty  will  allow 
me,  may  exercise  a  salutary  influence  on  the  destiny  of  Spain,  and 
deprive  a  blind  and  furious  people  of  the  pretext  for  deluging  their 
fatherland  in  blood  in  the  name  of  a  prince,  the  heir  of  their  ancient 
dynasty,  who  has  been  convei-ted  by  a  solemn  treaty,  by  his  own  choice, 
afid  by  the  most  glorious  of  all  adoptions,  into  a  French  prince  and  a  son 
of  your  imperial  Majesty. " 


further  reduced,  vassalage  in  all  its  forms  disappeared, 
and  the  cultivation  of  waste  lands  was  encouraged. 
A  host  of  enactments  modelled  on  French  legislation 
had  further  extended  the  bounds  of  liberty  and 
equalit}'.  But  as  each  fresh  step  in  advance  was  taken 
the  distance  between  the  majority  of  the  Cortes  and 
their  opponents  had  widened.  Much  of  their  legisla- 
tion was  sentimental  and  doctrinaire,  and  for  the  most 
part  it  found  neither  sympathy  nor  comprehension 
amongst  the  mass  of  their  countrymen.  The  arrival, 
too,  of  the  elected  members  from  the  now  liberated 
provinces  greatly  strengthened  the  Conservative  party, 
and  b)-  the  autumn  of  1813  it  was  evident  that  the 
memorable  Cortes  of  Cadiz  had  spent  its  impetus,  and 
it  was  dissolved  in  conflict  and  disorder  :  the'  new 
Cortes  meeting  in  Madrid  early  in  18 14. 

The  composition  of  the  new  assembly  was  dis- 
tinctly less  liberal  than  that  of  its  predecessor,  but 
the  communications  between  it  and  Fernando  proved 
promptly  to  the  latter  that  matters  had  indeed 
changed  since  he  left  Spain.  The  Cortes  refused  to 
acknowledge  any  act  of  his  until  he  was  free  in 
Spain ;  and  with  the  approval  of  the  Council  of 
State  agreed  that  Fernando  was  not  to  be  allowed 
to  exercise  royal  power  until  he  had  sworn  to  respect 
the  Constitution  of  Cadiz.  He  was  to  be  met  as 
he  approached  his  ancient  realm  by  a  deputation  of 
the  Cortes,  who  should  explain  to  him  the  position 
of  the  country  and  the  sufferings  and  sacrifices  it 
had  made  for  him.  He  was  not  to  be  allowed  to 
bring  into  Spain  with  him  any  armed  force  or  any 
foreigner.     He  was  to  travel  by  the  route  prescribed 


for  him,  and  on  his  arrival  at  Madrid  he  was  to  be 
taken  straight  to  the  meeting-place  of  the  Cortes, 
and  there  subscribe  to  the  oath  of  the  Constitution  ; 
after  which  the  Regents  would  invest  him  with  such 
royal  authority  as  was  left  to  him. 

All  this,  of  course,  was  gall  and  wormwood  to 
Fernando  and  his  friends.  His  envoy  from  Valengay, 
the  Duke  of  San  Carlos,  had  been  jeered  at  in  the 
streets  of  Madrid  for  his  share  in  the  wretched 
truckling  at  Bayonne ;  and  had  returned  to  his 
master  full  of  bitterness  and  fury  at  the  insolent 
Jacobins  who  dared  to  dictate  terms  to  their 
sovereign.  But  Fernando,  whose  duplicity  had 
grown  with  his  age,  held  his  peace  and  kept  a 
smiling  face  in  public.  The  situation,  however,  was 
inflammatory.  The  Conservatives  and  friends  of  the 
old  regime  had  plucked  up  courage  in  Madrid  to  sa)' 
almost  openly  what  in  Cadiz  would  have  cost  them 
their  lives.  Royalists,  as  they  called  themselves,  were 
numerous,  and  riots  in  the  capital — even  in  the  Cortes 
itself — showed  that  the  Constitution  of  Cadiz  was  not 
so  universally  accepted  as  its  enthusiastic  early  friends 
had  thought. 

On  the  22nd  of  March,  18 14,  Fernando  once  more 
stood  upon  Spanish  soil  atFigueras  in  Cataluna,  and  on 
the  24th  crossed  the  river  Fluvia,  Suchet  and  the  French 
army  on  the  one  side  and  Copons  with  the  Spaniards 
on  the  other,  whilst  a  countless  multitude  of  citizens 
received  their  sovereign  with  joy  beyond  expression. 
But  there  was,  even  thus  early,  a  drop  of  gall  in  the  cup 
of  pleasure.  Fernando  had  agreed  with  Suchet  that 
the  beleaguered  French  garrisons  in  Spanish  fortresses 


should  be  allowed  to  withdraw  to  France  without 
surrender,  and  had  left  his  brother  Carlos  as  a  hostage 
at  Perpignan  for  the  fulfilment  of  his  word.  To  his 
surprise  Copons,  the  Spanish  general,  refused  to 
acknowledge  the  sovereign's  act.  It  had  been  done, 
he  said,  without  the  knowledge  of  the  Government  or 
their  English  allies,  and  was  unconstitutional.  This 
was  a  foretaste  to  Fernando  of  what  he  had  to 
expect,  but  he  smiled,  f.nd  still  smiled,  at  the  people, 
who,  frantic  with  deligh",  threw  themselves  in  his  way 
and  wept  tears  of  joy.  Through  the  stark  and  ruined 
country  he  went ;  the  emaciated  and  famished  inhabi- 
tants, hardly  one  of  whom  but  had  some  dear  one 
killed  in  the  war,  filled  to  overflowing  with  love 
and  hope  of  better  times  under  the  sway  of  their 
new  king.  They  had  suffered  so  much  for  him  ;  he 
was  young  and  had  suffered  too,  they  said,  in  his 
exile  :  surely  he  would  be  good  to  them,  make  bread 
cheap,  and  heal  their  bleeding  wounds.  Through 
heroic  Zaragoza  Fernando  travelled  by  Daroca  and 
Segorbe  to  Valencia,  where  he  arrived  on  the  i6th 
of  April,  only  a  {q\w  days  before  the  fallen  Emperor 
accepted  his  fate  and  left  France  for  Elba. 

All  through  Fernando's  journey  the  authorities, 
people,  and  troops  had  given  him  clearly  to  understand 
that  they  were  indignant  at  the  action  of  the  Cortes  in 
limiting  his  inherited  royal  prerogatives  in  his  enforced 
exile,  and  had  shown  the  desire  that  he  should  refuse 
to  accept  the  Constitution  ;  but  the  cautious  Bourbon 
had  continued  to  smile  paternally  and  say  nothing. 
To  meet  and  welcome  him  there  had  gone  to  Valencia 
all  the  friends  of  reaction.    General  Elio,  commanding 


the  army  in  the  province,  pledged  his  officers  to  sup- 
port Fernando  in  all  his  prerogatives,  and  in  the 
speech  of  welcome  delivered  to  the  monarch  at  the 
gates  of  Valencia  had  told  him  that  the  army  was 
against  the  Cortes. 

In  Madrid  the  Cortes  itself  was  profoundly  divided. 
The  Liberals  had  indignantly  protested  against  being 
addressed  in  the  ancient  way  as  "  dear  vassals "  by 
Fernando,  and  had  expelled  a  member  who  had 
declared  that  he  looked  upon  the  King  as  his 
"sovereign  master,"  Martiner.  de  la  Rosa,  indeed,  had 
gone  so  far  as  to  propose  the  penalty  of  death  for 
any  one  who  even  proposed  to  alter  the  Constitution 
before  the  prescribed  period  of  eight  years  had 
passed.  On  the  other  hard,  the  reactionaries  in  the 
Cortes  were  busy.  Money  came  in  plenty  —  the 
Liberals  said  from  England,  for  Sir  Henry  Wellesley, 
the  ambassador,  leaned  to  the  side  of  Fernando — and 
a  cabal  of  Conservative  members,  aided  by  the  monks 
of  Atocha,  organised  a  regular  reactionary  network 
throughout  the  city.  To  strengthen  Fernando's 
hands  this  cabal  drew  up  an  address  to  the  King 
signed  by  sixty-nine  members  and  sent  it  by  one  of 
their  number  to  Valencia.  The  address  itself  became 
famous,  because  it  gave  thenceforward  to  the  re- 
actionary party  its  name  of  "  Persians."  It  began 
thus  :  "  Sire,  it  was  the  custom  of  the  ancient  Per- 
sians to  allow  five  days  of  anarchy  on  the  death  of  a 
king,  in  order  that  the  experience  of  murder,  robbery, 
and  other  excesses  might  render  them  more  faithful 
to  his  successor  ;  "  and  it  ended,  of  course,  with  a 
petition  that  the  Constitution  of  Cadiz  might  be 
treated  as  void. 


Fortified  by  these  elements  of  reaction  grouped 
around  him,  Fernando  began  to  show  his  teeth.  His 
cousin,  Cardinal  de  Borbon,  president  of  the  Regency, 
sent  by  the  Cortes,  welcomed  him  outside  the  city 
in  Valencia.  Fernando  haughtily  held  out  his  hand 
for  the  Cardinal- Archbishop  and  Regent  to  kiss,  but 
the  latter  affected  not  to  see  it,  for  the  Cortes  had 
forbidden  Fernando  to  be  treated  as  king  until  he 
had  accepted  the  Constitution.  At  length,  after 
waiting  several  moments,  Fernando,  pale  with  rage, 
cried  out  to  his  cousin,  "  Kiss  !  "  and  the  Cardinal  was 
constrained  to  obey.  On  the  4th  of  May,  the  day 
'before  he  left  the  city,  the  King  signed  his  famous 
manifesto  to  his  people,  which  for  the  time,  however, 
was  kept  secret.  It  had  been  drawn  up  by  the 
reactionary  ex-Regent  Perez  Villamil,  and  whilst 
expressing  detestation  for  despotism  "  which  cannot 
be  reconciled  with  enlightenment,  or  with  the  civilisa- 
tion of  other  European  countries,"  and'  promising  to 
watch  over  the  welfare  of  his  people,  "  for  kings  were 
never  despots  in  Spain,"  it  repudiated  every  action  of 
the  Cortes  and  of  the  Governments  which  had  ruled 
since  Fernando's  departure.  There  was,  it  is  true, 
much  to  be  said  for  Fernando's  point  of  view.  He 
himself  had  never  been  consulted  in  the  revolutionary 
changes  which  had  quite  altered  his  position  ;  the 
Cortes  had  been  elected  and  constituted  in  a  manner 
entirely  foreign  to  the  old  Spanish  laws  ;  and  it  was 
evident  that  the  people  at  large  did  not  under- 
stand, and  in  most  cases  resented,  the  innovations 
which  appeared  to  them  so  suspicious  and  un- 
just   towards     the    young    sovereign    who    for     the 


moment  inspired  them  with  such  fervent  love  and 

If  Fernando  had  stopped  at  refusing  to  acknow- 
ledge the  Constitution  until  some  of  its  more  objec- 
tionable features  were  removed,  not  much  could  have 
been  said  against  But  he  went  much  further, 
for  not  only  was  the  Constitution  abolished  and  a 
sponge  passed  over  the  whole  of  the  tremendous 
events  of  the  previous  six  years,  but  the  death 
penalty  was  decreed  against  any  person  who  dared 
even  to  speak  in  favour  of  the  Constitution  of  Cadiz. 

Preceded  by  bodies  of  troops,  which  might,  if 
necessary,  terrorise  his  capital,  Fernando  moved 
onwards.  The  soldiers  and  populace  had  their 
orders,  and  the  royal  progress  was  a  long  saturnalia 
of  reaction.  Most  of  the  towns  on  the  way  had 
changed  the  name  of  their  great  square  from  Plaza 
Mayor  to  "  Plaza  de  la  Constitucion  "  ;  and  the  marble 
slabs  bearing  the  latter  inscription  were  now  torn 
down  and  splintered,  and  the  thoughtless  mob,  little 
knowing  or  caring  what  it  all  meant,  shouted  them- 
selves hoarse  with  cries  of  "  Death  to  liberty  and  the 
Constitution  !  "  and  "  Long  live  Fernando  !  " 

The  Cortes  in  Madrid  had  been  growing  more  uneasy 
every  day,  for  Fernando  had  left  its  letters  of  welcome 
unanswered.  The  people  of  the  city  had  just  been 
aroused  to  patriotic  fervour  by  a  solemn  ceremony  on 

'  Godoy  says  that  when  old  Charles  IV.  in  exile  heard  of  his  son's 
act,  he  exclaimed  against  the  cruel  severity  of  it.  He  did  not,  he  said> 
expect  that  Fernando  would  accept  everything,  but  to  attempt  to  ignore 
all  that  had  taken  place  in  six  years,  and  cruelly  persecute  many  of  those 
who  had  served  his  country  best,  was  an  act  of  unparalleled  folly  and 


the  anniversary  of  tlie  famous  2nd  of  May,  when  the 
ashes  of  the  victims  were  brought  in  state  to  be 
buried  beneath  the  splendid  monument  on  the  Prado  ; 
and  there,  as  everywhere,  the  bold  words  of  the  Con- 
stitution were  emblazoned  :  "  The  power  of  making 
laws  is  centered  in  the  Cortes  with  the  King."  Un- 
questionably Madrid  itself,  like  Cadiz  and  other  large 
cities,  was  in  the  main  liberal,  and  began  to  distrust 
the  future  ;  but  in  the  fulness  of  its  heart  it  did  its  best 
to  prepare  a  loyal  welcome  for  Fernando  the  Desired  ; 
for,  aggressive  as  were  the  reactionaries,  it  could  not 
believe  that  the  King  would  forget  all  his  heroic 
people  had  done  for  him,  and  the  ferocious  decree  of 
Valencia  was  as  yet  unknown.  The  sovereign  was  to 
enter  his  capital  on  the  13th  of  May,  and  days  before 
every  balcony  blazed  with  colours,  and  arches  and 
garlands  of  flowers  bedecked  the  streets.  The  Cortes 
had  been  in  session  on  the  loth  making  final  arrange- 
ments, not  without  misgivings  with  regard  to  the 
sov^ereign's  attitude ;  but  the  members  retired  as 
usual  to  their  homes,  little  expecting  any  evil  to 
themselves.  Fernando  had  appointed  by  secret  com- 
mission Francisco  Eguia  to  be  Governor  of  Castile ; 
and  late  at  night  the  latter  delivered  the  blow  the 
King  had  been  treasuring  up  in  all  the  bitter  six 
years  of  his  exile.  With  a  strong  force  Eguia  went 
through  the  silent  streets  :  first  to  the  palace,  vVhere 
the  Regents  were  arrested,  and  thence  to  the  house 
of  every  known  friend  of  the  Constitution.  Members 
of  Cortes,  poets,  men-of-letters,  journalists,  nobles, 
lawyers,  officers,  and  play-actors,  high  and  low,  rich 
and  poor,  were  swept   into  close  confinement  in   the 



jails  and  barracks  ;  and  when  Madrid  woke  in  the 
morning  of  the  nth,  every  blank  wall  was  plastered 
with  the  terrible  decree  of  Valencia. 

The  Madrileiios  were  stunned  and  shocked  at  the 
perfidy  of  the  act,  but  every  man  of  the  least  promi- 
nence on  the  constitutional  side  was  in  prison,  and  no 
concerted  protest  was  possible.  A  salaried  mob, 
moreover,  of  the  dregs  of  society  threatened  and 
terrorised  all  decent-looking  citizens,  and  those  who 
wore  clothes  which  the  ruffians  pleased  to  consider  a 
mark  of  liberalism  or  "  Freemasonry."  Every  sign 
referring  to  the  Constitution  was  destroyed,  the 
meeting-place  of  the  Cortes  was  sacked  and  gutted, 
hideous  mob  violence  drove  quiet  people  to  the 
shelter  of  their  homes,  and  the  one  cry  that  resounded 
through  the  "  town  of  the  2nd  of  May  "  was,  "  Death 
to  liberty,  and  long  live  Fernando  !  " 

The  King  entered  Madrid  on  the  13th  of  May, 
riding  through  a  sad  and  well-nigh  silent  populace. 
Signs  of  official  rejoicing  met  him  on  all  sides.  The 
palaces  of  the  nobles  were  brave  with  ancient 
tapestries  and  storied  hangings,  triumphal  arches 
spanned  the  streets,  the  churches  and  monasteries 
brought  out  all  their  splendour  to  honour  the  man 
who  by  a  stroke  of  the  pen  could  undo  the  acts  of  six 
memorable  years.  Public  officers  and  would-be  cour- 
tiers,'nobles,  lackeys,  and  the  brutal,  corrupted  mob 
cheered  the  sovereign  ;  but  self-respecting  Spaniards 
who  had  seen  the  sacrifices  and  sufferings  of  the  city, 
and  who  recollected  the  hundreds  of  brave  hearts 
that  the  tyrant  had  consigned  to  dungeons,  to 
celebrate  his  return,  looked  with  growing  distrust  on 
the  sinister  face  of  Fernando  the  Desired. 


The  country  at  large  was  a  prey  to  a  reactionary 
fever  of  the  worst  kind  ;  Fernando  thenceforward  was  in- 
fluenced alone  by  the  base  cajnarilla  which  had  led  him 
from  humiliation  to  humiliation  before  the  triumphal 
car  of  Napoleon.  He  had  abandoned  the  country  to 
itself,  and  had  not  raised  a  finger  in  those  terrible  six 
years  of  its  death  struggle  with  the  foreign  invader. 
His  had  been  the  name  upon  the  lips  of  thousands 
who  had  gone  to  their  death  cheerfully  that  he  might 
reign  in  the  land  of  his  fathers.  The  country  in  a 
frenzy  of  loyalty  brought  him  back  to  the  throne  for 
which  he  had  done  nothing  ;  and  the  returns  he  gave 
were  chains,  exile,  and  death  to  those  who  had  fought 
hardest,  and  struggled  most,  to  shake  off  the  yoke  of 
the  foreigner.  It  may  be  granted  that  he  had  a 
grievance  against  the  Constitution,  in  so  far  as  it 
attacked  his  own  prerogative  ;  but  to  have  forgotten 
all  that  had  passed,  and  to  decree  that  everything 
should  return  to  the  absolutism  of  1807  was  a 
political  crime  of  the  blackest  dye.  In  extent  of 
time  it  was  only  six  and  a  half  years  since  the  rising 
of  Aranjuez  had  overturned  Godoy  ;  but  Spain  had 
passed  through  centuries  of  change  since  then  in  all 
but  years,  and  for  Fernando  to  have  ignored  this 
proved  him  unfit  and  unworthy  for  his  great  mission. 

But  this  was  not  the  only  way  in  which  he  proved 
his  unworthiness.  His  ministers,  led  by  the  Duke  of 
San  Carlos,  were  naturally  reactionaries  of  the  most 
extreme  type,  but  even  they  soon  found  that  they 
were  mere  ciphers  by  the  side  of  the  King's  private 
camarilla.  Spanish  kings  had  been  ruled  by 
favourites    before  ;    but    Lerma    and    Olivares,    even 

196  '■'FERNANDO    THE   DESIRED." 

Valenzuela  and  Godoy,  were  men  of  education  and 
breeding,  whilst  the  secret  advisers  of  Fernando  were, 
many  of  them,  coarse,  ignorant  buffoons.  Meeting 
at  night  with  noisy  mirth  they  settled  over  the  heads 
of  the  ministers  questions  of  national  policy,  and  even 
made  and  unmade  ministers  in  mere  caprice.'  One 
of  Fernando's  Conservative  ministers  at  this  time 
gives  the  following  account  of  the  proceedings  of  the 
camarilla  :  "  They  make  him  (i.e.,  Fernando)  distrust 
his  ministers  and  disregard  the  tribunals  and  every 
person  of  standing  who  should  have  advised  him 
He  gives  audience  daily,  and  any  one  who  likes 
speaks  to  him  without  any  ceremony.  This  is  in 
public,  but  the  worst  happens  in  secret  at  night.  He 
allows  access  and  listens  to  persons  of  the  worst 
possible  character,  who  blacken  unmercifully  those 
who  have  served  him  best.  By  giving  credit  to  such 
people,  and  without  further  advice,  he  signs  and 
issues  decrees,  not  only  without  the  knowledge  of 
his  ministers,  but  against  their  opinions.^  Ministers 
have  been  appointed  thus  who  have  only  remained 
three  weeks,  and  some  of  them  only  forty-eight  hours. 
And  what  ministers  !  " 

The  political  results  of  such  a  Court  as  this  were 

'  Ministers  were  appointed  or  dismissed  arbitrarily  by  Fernando  for 
the  most  puerile  reasons,  and  were  sent  into  prison  or  exile  at  the 
idle  fancy  of  the  King.  The  members  of  the  camarilla  were  treated 
in  the  same  way,  being  one  day  in  high  favour  and  the  next  in  jail. 
There  were  over  thirty  ministers  in  the  six  years  from  1 8 14  to  1 820,  an 
average  of  two  months'  duration  for  each. 

-  The  most  prominent  member  of  the  catnarilla  was  a  low  buffoon 
called  "  CJtaiiionv,^'  who  liiid  been  a  water-carrier,  another,  Ugarte, 
was  a  second-hand  broker  ;  Taltischeff,  the  Russian  Minister,  was  also 
a  member. 


naturally  lamentable.  The  rest  of  the  European 
Governments  looked  on  in  disgust.  Louis  XVIII. 
refused  the  co-operation  of  Spain  when  Napoleon 
escaped  from  Elba,  and  Europe  declined  to  respect  her 
interests  at  the  Conference  of  Vienna.  The  Spanish 
clergy  were  re-instated  in  their  full  privileges,  the 
ecclesiastical  property  was  all  restored,  even  that  which 
had  been  sold,  the  monasteries  were  rehabilitated, 
the  Jesuits  brought  back  in  triumph,  the  Inquisition 
entered  once  more  into  its  baleful  powers,  and  an 
active  campaign  was  carried  on  against  the  press  ; 
the  censorship  in  its  worst  form  being  revived  and 
nearly  all  books  and  papers  of  a  modern  or  pro- 
gressive character  proscribed.  The  old  Councils  and 
cumbrous  administrative  machinery  were  re-con- 
stituted, the  ancient  taxes  again  decreed,  the  Cortes' 
income  tax  abolished  ;  and  strenuous  efforts  made  to 
blot  out  every  memory  of  the  previous  six  years. 
The  financial  position,  as  has  been  stated  in  a 
previous  page,  was  lamentable,  as  a  consequence 
of  the  war,  but  now,  with  greedy  bloodsuckers 
around  the  King,  it  fell  into  utter  disorder.  Troops 
were  unpaid  and  unfed,  the  public  service  neglected, 
and  corruption  reigned  supreme  on  all  sides,  whilst 
the    customs  duties  were    heavily    increased,^  forced 

'  The  servile  crew  that  surrounded  the  King  specially  handicapped 
English  trade  and  interests,  notwithstanding  the  ostentatious 
support  given  to  reaction  by  Sir  Henry  Wellesley  and  his  govern- 
ment. For  instance,  the  Spanish  import  duty  on  English  common 
baize  had  been  in  1796  three  dollars  per  piece,  in  1805  six  dollars,  and 
in  1806  it  had  increased  to  sixteen  dollars  per  piece  under  the  French 
influence  then  paramount.  In  180S  it  was  reduced  to  its  original 
figure,  but  no  sooner  had  Fernando  returned  than  it  was  again   raised 

198  "  FERNANDO    THE   DESIRED.'' 

loans  extorted  and  industry  strangled  by  fresh 
impositions.  In  the  meanwhile  the  reign  of  terror 
continued.  All  that  was  enlightened  and  advanced 
in  Spain  was  placed  under  a  ban.  Deportation, 
exile,  prison,  death  were  the  penalties  meted  out 
to  every  man  who  was  known  to  have  uttered 
liberal  sentiments  ;  espionage  of  the  most  odious  cha- 
racter rendered  all  men  distrustful.  To  crown  the 
iniquity,  after  such  citizens  had  been  dealt  with, 
Fernando,  who  had  boasted  that  he  was  a  French 
prince,  and  had  congratulated  Joseph  on  ascending 
the  Spanish  throne,  now  persecuted  without  mercy 
all  those  Spaniards  who  had  sided  with  the  intrusive 

Such  measures  as  these  could  not  fail  to  provoke 
revolt,  and  in  September  the  famous  guerrilla  chief, 
Espoz  y  Tvlina,  endeavoured  to  arouse  a  counter- 
revolution in  favour  of  the  Constitution  at  Pamplona, 
but  the  affair  was  discovered,  and  Mina  fled  to 
France,  A  similar  fate  befell  another  attempt  by 
General  Porlier  at  Coruna.  He  had  been  condemned 
to  four  years'  imprisonment  for  his  liberal  opinions, 
but  managed  to  arouse  and  carry  with  him  the 
garrison  with  the  cry  "Fernando  and  Constitution!" 
but  he  was  overpowered  and  subsequently  suffered 
the  death  penalty  with  unnecessary  refinements  of 
cruelty.  In  1816  another  attempt,  directed  against 
Fernando  himself,  was  planned,  but  discovered,  and 
henceforward  the  persecution  of  Liberals  went  on  with 

to  sixteen  dollars.  All  English  manufactures  were  burdened  in  a 
similar  way  ;  and  of  all  foreigners  Englishmen  were  the  worst  treated 
under  Fernando. 


redoubled  vigour.  A  much  more  serious  plot  was 
that  of  General  Lacy  in  Cataluiia  in  1817.  He  was 
one  of  the  most  popular  heroes  of  the  war,  and  when 
his  pronunciamiento  in  favour  of  the  Constitution 
failed,  he  scorned  to  flv  to  P^rance  like  his  com- 
panions,  knowing  that  the  Government  dared  not 
kill  him.  amongst  his  own  Catalans.  He  was  right ; 
for  months  Fernando  kept  him  under  sentence,  and 
at  last  he  was  smuggled  on  board  of  a  ship  and  sent 
to  Majorca,  there  to  be  done  to  death  secretly  in  the 
darkness  of  the  night.  The  next  year  Valencia  was 
the  scene  of  a  similar  attempt,  but  here  the  tyrant 
VA'xo  ruled  with  a  firm  hand.  He  surprised  a  meeting 
of  the  constitutional  conspirators,  and  those  who  were 
not  cut  down  on  the  spot  were  summarily  hanged 
in  his  presence,  whilst  119  persons,  suspected  only  of 
sympathy,  were  handed  over  to  the  Inquisition  for 

It  has  already  been  recounted  how,  almost  without 
an  effort,  Buenos  A}Tes,  New  Granada,  and  Venezuela 
had  shaken  off  the  yoke  of  Spain  ;  Chile  had  now 
been  lost,  and  the  remaining  provinces  had  loosened 
the  ties  that  bound  them.  The  proceedings  of  Fer- 
nando's  reactionary  government  were  unlikely  to 
increase  the  wavering  allegiance  of  the  colonists,  and 
the  revenue  accruing  to  Spain  from  them  became  less 
and  less.    Fernando's  treasury  was  well-nigh  emptv  ^ ; 

'  The  Budget  of  181 7  presented  by  Martin  de  Gara)-,  the  Finance 
Minister,  showed  that  the  annual  deficit  reached  the  enormous  sum  of 
;if4, 650,000,  without  counting  the  interest  on  the  debt,  which  reached 
nearly  a  million  more.  It  was  seen  that  the  ancient  s)-stem  of  taxation 
would  not  do,  and  a  partial  return  to  the  Cortes  system  of  a  direct  tax 
was  adopted.     The  only  indirect  taxes  retained  were  the  customs  dues 


Spanish  credit,  which,  notwithstanding  the  war 
had  been  fairly  good  under  the  Cadiz  government, 
had  fallen  to  its  lowest  ebb  ;  the  restitution  of  the 
ecclesiastical  and  Inquisition  property  had  beggared 
the  public  service,  and  the  greedy  gang  that  sur- 
rounded the  King  were  keen  for  loot.  It  occurred  to 
them  that  the  only  chance  of  getting  it  was  to  fasten 
once  more  upon  South  America  the  fetters  which  she 
had  almost  shaken  off.  Immediately  after  Fernando's 
return  General  Morillo,  with  14,000  men,  had  been 
sent  to  Venezuela,  where  at  first  he  met  with  some 
success.  But  Bolivar  was  sweeping  all  before  him  ; 
the  United  States  had  taken  Florida,  and  the 
Spaniards  were  almost  everywhere  losing  ground. 

It  was  now  proposed  to  send  a  larger  force  which 
might  conquer  the  revolted  colonies,  but  the  difficulty 
was  that  Spain  had  no  ships  in  which  to  send  it. 
English  shipowners  turned  a  deaf  ear,  for  the  public 
sympathy  in  England  was  all  in  favour  of  the  South 
Americans  ;  but  the  Russian  minister  in  Spain, 
Tattischeff,  a  member  of  Fernando's  camarilla,  sold 
to  the  King,  at  an  exorbitant  price,  a  number  of 
old,  unseaworthy,  Russian  vessels,  in  which  it  was 
hoped  the  army  might  sail.  It  was  necessary  for 
this    purpose    that    a    large   concentration   of  troops 

and  the  salt,  tobacco,  and  stamp  monopolies  ;  the  rest  of  the  revenue 
being  raised  by  an  income  tax,  a  fresh  imposition  on  the  clergy,  and  on 
entailed  lands  and  inheritances.  The  bonds  of  the  floating  debt  without 
interest  were  to  be  legal  tender  for  a  third  of  their  face  value,  and  a 
small  proportion  of  them  was  to  be  added  by  lot  to  the  4  per  cent. 
Consols  every  year.  This  well-meant  and  radical  Budget  was  rendered 
almost  inoperative  by  the  opposition  of  the  provinces  and  the  corruption 
of  the  administration. 


should  be  effected  in  Cadiz,  and  Henry  O'Donnell, 
Count  of  La  Bisbal,  Captain-General  of  Andalusia, 
was  appointed  to  the  supreme  command,  with  General 
Sarsfield  as  his  lieutenant.  O'Donnell  was  a  man 
of  great  military  talent,  but  had  changed  sides  so 
frequentl}',  and  so  vehemently,  that  he  was  looked 
upon  generally  with  distrust.  From  a  violent  friend  of 
the  Constitution,  he  had  become  equally  zealous  for  re- 
action, though  he  afterwards  explained  that  this  was 
for  the  purpose  of  diverting  suspicion  from  him.  The 
fate  of  Lacy,  of  Porlier,  and  of  Mina,  the  persecutions 
of  Liberals,  and  the  corruption  and  ingratitude  of  Fer- 
nando's  government,  had  caused  deep  disgust  in  the 
minds  of  many  distinguished  officers,  and,  as  we  have 
seen,  Spain  generally,  and  particularly  Cadiz,  the 
birthplace  of  the  Cortes,  was  ripe  for  revolt. 

O'Donnell  announced  to  his  intimates  his  inten- 
tion to  declare  for  the  Constitution,  and  to  assume 
a  military  dictatorship  until  a  Cortes  could  meet. 
There  was  some  distrust  of  him,  but  he  seemed  in 
earnest,  and  the  8th  of  July,  1819,  was  fixed  for  the 
pronouncement.  O'Donnell  mustered  his  men,  and 
at  the  moment  when  he  was  expected  to  cry,  "  Viva 
la  Constitucion ! "  to  the  dismay  of  all  Sarsfield 
galloped  a  squadron  of  cavalry  along  the  line  of 
infantry,  shouting  "  Viva  el  Rey  !  "  and,  before  they 
well  understood  what  was  passing,  all  the  officers  in 
the  plot  were  surrounded,  disarmed,-  and  arrested 
by  order  of  O'Donnell.  The  blow  was  a  heavy  one 
to  the  Liberals,,  but  the  friends  of  Fernando  were 
also  disturbed  by  it.  They  were  uncertain  how  far 
they  could  trust    O'Donnell,   and    he    was    removed 



202  '\fernando  the  desired" 

from     his     command,    although    rewarded     for    his 

But  the  spirit  of  revolt,  far  from  being  crushed  by 
this  check,  grew  more  formidable  every  day,  as  the 
evil  results  of  Fernando's  obscurantist  folly  became 
more  evident.  The  literary  men  who  had  fled  abroad, 
or  who  had  been  exiled,  flooded  Europe  with  denun- 
ciations of  the  King  and  his  camarilla.  English 
newspapers  were  indignant  at  Fernando's  ingratitude 
to  their  country,  and  even  in  Spain  itself  enlightened 
publicists  secretly  spread  broadcast  writings  against 
the  Government  which  had  brought  back  the  Inquisi- 
tion and  the  friars.  In  vain  the  camarilla  persecuted 
with  atrocious  severity  those  guilty  of  so  doing,  in 
vain  a  punishment  of  ten  years  in  a  dungeon  was 
prescribed  to  those  who  were  found  in  possession  of 
an  English  Liberal  newspaper  ;  as  if  by  magic  the 
obnoxious  prints  found  their  way  everywhere,  and 
civilians  and  soldiers  alike  read  them  with  avidity 
and  approval. 

Yellow  fever  was  raging  in  Cadiz,  and  as  the 
troops  were  sulky  at  being  sent  abroad  to  fight  men 
of  Spanish  blood,  it  had  been  considered  wise  to  en- 
camp them  away  from  the  city  where  Liberal  feeling 
was  known  to  predominate.  The  camps  were  to  be 
broken  up  in  the  first  week  of  January,  1820,  and  the 
men  marched  to  separate  quarters  ready  for  embark- 
ation. This  was  the  opportunity  to  seize,  or  all  hope 
would  be  lost.  Most  of  the  Liberal  officers  of  rank 
were  in  the  dungeons,  owing  to  O'Donnell's  falseness, 
but  a  leader  eagerly  sprang  to  the  front  to  fill  the 
vacant    place.      This   was   the    famous    Rafael    del 


204  "  FERNANDO    THE   DESIRED." 

Riego,  an  Asturian,  a  young  man  who  had  fought 
gallantly  as  captain  against  the  French,  and  had 
been  a  prisoner  of  war  in  France  for  several  years. 
He  was  now  Major-Commandant  of  a  battalion  of 
Asturians,  quartered  in  the  village  of  Cabezas  de  San 
Juan.  On  the  ist  of  January,  1820,  he  drew  up  his 
men  on  parade  and  in  a  fervid  speech  proclaimed 
the  Constitution.  He  was  cheered  to  the  echo,  and 
marching  to  the  headquarters  surprised  and  captured 
the  Commander-in-chief  (Calderon)  and  all  his  staff: 
joined  by  other  battalions,  he  moved  on  to  Cadiz, 
aided  now  by  a  superior  officer.  General  Quiroga,  who 
had  escaped  from  jprison,  and  Riego  was  also  assured 
of  the  co-operation  of  the  troops  in  the  city.  The 
military  governor,  however,  was  on  the  alert,  and 
sternly  suppressed  all  disorder  inside,  so  that  much 
valuable  time  was  lost  to  the  mutineers.  With  eight 
battalions,  the  leaders  of  the  revolt  were  for  the  present 
safe  from  attack,  but  if  Cadiz  withstood  them  they 
were  lost. 

On  the  1 2th  of  January  they  took  possession  of 
the  arsenal,  but  at  the  end  of  the  month  they  were 
still  outside  the  city,  and  matters  grew  critical. 
It  was  then  decided  that  Quiroga  and  part  of  the 
force  should  hold  Port  St.  Mary,  whilst  Riego  went 
with  his  column  to  arouse  the  rest  of  Andalusia.  In 
this  he  was  not  successful,  and  when  he  tried  to  get 
back  to  his  base  he  found  his  way  intercepted.  He 
succeeded,  however,  on  entering  Malaga  ;  but  there 
he  found  few  friends,  and  Joseph  O'Donnell,  the 
Commander  of  the  garrison,  was  soon  able  to  eject 
him.     With  his  little  body  of  men  reduced  now  from 


1,500  to  300  by  desertions,  he  entered  Cordoba,  and 
from  thence  fled  to  Estremadura,  with  only  45  soldiers 
left  to  him,  and  these  in  despair  dispersed  and  went 
into  hiding  in  the  mountains,  whilst  Ouiroga  remained 
isolated  at  Port  St.  Mary. 

The  cause  thus  seemed  utterly  lost,  notwithstand- 
ing the    cowed   and  silent  sympathy   of  the  people 
through   whom   Riego   passed  ;    but  suddenly,    as   if 
by   common    accord,  the  whole   country  blazed    out 
simultaneously    at    the    news    of    Riego's    bold    pro- 
nouncement.    Coruna    and    Asturias    were    first    to 
respond,  then  Zaragoza,  Valencia,  and  Navarre,  where 
the  brave  Mina  again  unsheathed  his  sword.     Almost 
everywhere  the  authorities  were  forced  by  the  citizens 
to  proclaim  the   Constitution,  and    Spain    from    end 
to    end    burst    into    rejoicing.     The    King   and    his 
camarilla  were  in   dismay,  as  day  by  day  the  news 
reached    them    of    the    extent    of    the    movement. 
Madrid    was    in    ebullition,    anonymous    broadsheets 
passed  from  hand  to  hand,  and    the  host  of  secret 
clubs    and    societies    which    kept    alive    the    Liberal 
creed  were    so   many  active   centres  of  propaganda. 
When    the   Government    at    length    understood    that 
the    movement    had    really   become    too    strong    for 
them  to  resist,  they  thought  to  appease  it  by  small 
concessions  ;  and  the  4th  of  March  the  Gazette  con- 
tained  a   pompous  decree  of  Fernando,   couched   in 
the    old    haughty    language    of    condescending    and 
spontaneous  concession,  ordering  a  "  new  organisation 
of  the  Council  of  State,  which  should,  in  conference 
with  the  highest  tribunals,  discuss  what  they  thought 
best  for  the  good  government  of  the  realm." 

206  "  FERNANDO    THE   DESIRED." 

But  it  was  too  late  for  such  palliatives  now,  for 
Generals  were  declaring  for  the  popular  cause  on 
all  sides,  and  even  fickle  Henry  O'Donnell  had 
joined  the  stronger  party,  with  the  troops  sent  to 
suppress  it.  Fernando  then  tardily  (March  6th) 
remembered  his  promise  when  he  entered  Spain,  to 
convoke  a  meeting  of  the  Cortes  of  Castile,  but  this 
suggestion  proved  worse  than  useless,  for  it  only 
reminded  the  people  of  his  broken  pledge.  In  despair 
he  sent  for  General  Ballesteros,  one  of  the  foremost 
heroes  of  the  war,  to  ask  his  opinion.  "  There  is  but 
one  way  out  of  the  difficulty,"  replied  the  General 
boldly  ;  "  your  Majesty  must  accept  the  Constitution 
of  1812."  When  it  was  clear  that  this  was  the  only 
alternative,  Fernando  in  a  panic  gave  way,  and  the 
Gazette  of  the  7th  of  March  contained  the  following 
words,  signed  by  the  King  :  "  As  it  is  the  general 
wish  of  the  people,  I  have  decided  to  take  the  oath 
to  the  Constitution  of  1812." 

The  news  spread  like  wildfire  through  the  city, 
and  once  more  Madrid  went  crazy  with  joy.  Nearly 
all  the  professional  and  middle  classes,  and 
especially  young  people,  were  in  favour  of  the 
step,  and  an  eye-witness  describes  these  people,  the 
most  cultured  and  respectable  of  the  citizens,  flock- 
ing into  the  streets  at  the  great  news,  embracing 
each  other  out  of  mere  delight.  No  cries  for 
vengeance  were  uttered  against  those  who  for  the 
last  six  years  had  so  cruelly  persecuted  the  most  en- 
lightened men  in  Spain  ;  the  one  predominant  feeling 
was  of  immense  relief  at  a  great  danger  passed,  and 
of  assured   hope   for  the  future.     The  lower  classes, 


who  on  Fernando's  return  shouted,  "  Hurrah  for 
chains,  death  to  Hberty  !"  now  stood  aloof;  but  the 
respectable  citizens  by  the  thousand  flocked  with  one 
impulse  to  the  square  before  the  palace  to  acclaim 
the  constitutional  King,  and  afterwards  to  the  Town 
Hall,  where,  amidst  an  indescribable  scene  of  enthu- 
siasm, a  new  popular  Town  Council  was  elected  by 
acclamation  to  replace  the  old  nominated  Council 
which  had  been  appointed  on  the  King's  return. 
Other  crowds  invaded  the  houses  of  the  Inquisition, 
but  there  was  no  serious  disorder — only  joy  and 

Throughout  Spain  once  again  the  names  of  the 
great  squares  were  changed  to  "  Plaza  de  la 
Constitucion "  with  solemnity  and  rejoicing :  many 
Liberals  were  released,  or  returned  from  exile,  a  new 
provisional  advisory  board  was  formed,  pending  the 
meeting  of  Cortes,  with  the  ex-Regent,  Cardinal  de 
Borbon,  at  its  head,  and  on  the  9th  of  March  Fer- 
nando took  the  oath  to  respect  the  Constitution, 
which  made  him  a  cipher.^  During  the  ceremony  a 
vast  multitude  filled   the   square   before   the  palace, 

'  This  advisory  Jii/ita  which  ruled  from  March  till  July  began  well, 
but  was  soon  dragged  at  the  tail  of  the  orators  and  the  clubs.  The 
administration,  national  and  municipal,  prescribed  by  the  Constitution, 
was  restored,  and  the  political  prisoners  were  released  ;  but  soon  the 
spoils  of  office  were  showered  on  to  those  who  had  sympathised  with  the 
revolt.  Grants  of  land  were  given  to  all  the  soldiers  who  had  joined 
the  mutiny ;  titles,  honours,  promotion,  and  grants  were  given  to  the 
officers.  Every  citizen  separately  was  forced  to  swear  to  the  Consti- 
tution, and  any  who  hesitated  were  banished  and  proscribed ;  the 
"  Persians"  were  all  imprisoned,  but  were  afterwards  released  by  the 
Cortes,  and  offices  in  the  royal  household  were  bestowed  with  great 
want  of  tact  upon  the  most  conspicuous  progressists. 

208  "■FERNANDO    THE   DESIRED.'' 

determined  that  no  discord  should  mar  their  joy  at 
the  tardy  repentance  of  the  King.  Once  a  man, 
holding  aloft  an  infant,  cried  :  "  Citizens  !  this  is  the 
child  of  General  Lacy,  the  victim  of  despotism  !  "  but 
though  the  child  was  fondled  and  tenderly  treated,  the 
man  was  hushed  ;  and  when  Fernando  appeared  on 
the  balcony  with  his  pretty,  fair,  frail  little  German 
wife  by  his  side,i  a  great  shout  of  welcome  went  up 
which  might  have  moved  a  heart  less  cold  than  his. 
Smiling,  he  raised  his  hand,  and  the  multitude  was 
silent.  "  You  are  satisfied  now,"  he  said  ;  "  I  have  just 
sworn  to  respect  the  Constitution,  and  I  will  keep  my 
word."  Cries  were  raised  that  all  political  prisoners 
should  be  pardoned,  that  the  Inquisition  should  be 
abolished,  and  so  on.  "Well !  well !  "  cried  Fernando, 
"all  that  shall  be  done  soon  ;  now  go  home  quietly." 
Thus,  for  a  time,  reaction  was  conquered  in  Spain, 
and  if  the  King  had  been  loyal,  and  the  reformers 
more  prudent  and  less  eloquent,  all  might  have  been 
well.  But,  great  as  was  the  enthusiasm,  it  is  idle  to  deny 
that  the  Constitution  of  Cadiz  was  not  of  itself  univer- 
sally popular  with  the  mass  of  the  Spanish  people.  It 
was  avowedly  founded  on  French  ideas  and  models, 
and,  as  such,  foreign  in  its  spirit ;    it  was,  moreover, 

'  Fernando  had  married  soon  after  his  return  Princess  Isabel  de 
Braganza,  Don  Carlos,  his  Ijrother,  marrying  at  the  same  time  her  sister 
Maria  Francisca.  The  young  Queen  was  extremely  popular,  and 
initiated  many  architectural  and  artistic  embellishments  in  the  capital, 
especially  the  magnificent  public  picture  gallery,  the  Museo  del  Prado. 
One  girl  infant  of  the  royal  couple  died  a  few  months  old,  and  in 
giving  birth  to  a  second  on  the  26th  of  December,  i8i8,  the  Queen  died, 
as  did  also  the  child.  In  the  following  year  Fernando  married  as  his 
third  wife  Amelia  of  Saxony,  who  also  died  young  and  childless. 


\x\  many  things,  decidedly  in  advance  of  its  time  and 
even  of  ours  as  a  monarchial  constitution  ;  and  most 
of  the  men  who  had  been  its  originators,  and  were 
now  its  representative  supporters,  were  simply  honest 
and  exalted  theorists,  impatient  with  the  slowness  of 
their  countrymen,  and  determined  to  raise  them  to 
their  standard  of  perfection,  whether  they  were  willing 
or  not.  But  though  the  Constitution  in  its  details,  so 
far  as  they  were  understood,  was  distrusted  by  many, 
the  blind  reversion  of  Fernando  to  the  ancient  des- 
potism— absurd  now  after  the  trials  the  country 
had  gone  through— was  more  unpopular  still.  The 
enthusiasm  of  the  middle  classes  in  1820  was  not  so 
much  in  favour  of  the  provisions  of  the  Constitution 
as  a  protest  against  the  policy  of  obscurantism,  and 
a  hope  that  the  meeting  of  a  moderate  elective  Cortes 
might  remedy  some  of  the  impractical  extravagance 
of  the  patriots  of  Cadiz,  and  at  the  same  time  modify 
the  absolutism  of  the  King. 

The  first  effect  of  the  change  of  policy  was  the 
breaking  out  all  over  Spain  of  a  perfect  deluge  of 
oratory.  Never  before  had  so  much  public  speaking 
been  dreamt  of  in  the  Peninsula,  and  Madrid  at 
least,  having  once  loosened  its  tongue,  has  never 
for  any  great  length  of  time  succeeded  in  stop- 
ping it  from  that  time  to  this.  At  every  street 
corner  orators  had  groups  of  listeners  ;  societies, 
hitherto  secret,  now  held  talk -meetings  all  day,  and 
mostly  all  nighc.  The  most  influential  of  these  were 
one  called  "  The  Patriotic  Society  of  the  Friends  of 
Liberty,"  which  met  at  a  cafe  in  the  Puerta  del  Sol, 
under  the  presidency  of  an  eloquent  Mexican  named 



Gorostiza  ;  and  another  called  the  "Friends  of  Order," 
meeting  at  the  Fontana  de  Oro,  where  Alcala  Galiano 
was  the  principal  speaker  :  but  nearly  every  cafe  in 
Madrid  had  its  own  circle  of  public  orators,  and 
between  the  stirring  strains  of  the  Hymn  of  Riego,^ 
which  had  caught  the  public  ear,  and  has  never  since 
lost  it,  and  the  eternal  flow  of  patriotic  eloquence,  the 
guardians  of  public  order,  Liberals  though  they 'were, 
soon  began  to  look  upon  the  effervescence  as  dan- 
gerous, whilst  the  mob  orators  affected  to  regard  even 
the  Constitutionists  in  office  as  reactionaries. 

In  the  meantime  a  new  government  of  Liberals 
was  formed  with  the  two  Argiielles  as  principal 
members,  a  national  militia  was  organised,  and  a 
new  Cortes  elected  by  the  indirect  method  pre- 
scribed by  the  Constitution.  From  the  time  that 
Fernando  accepted  the  inevitable  (March  7th)  to 
the  assembly  of  the  new  Cortes  (July  9th),  all  went 
smoothly  and  discord  was  hushed.  The  excitement 
and  patriotic  enthusiasm  had  spread  now  to  all 
classes,  and  the  nobles  and  working  people  seemed 
as  desirous  of  making  the  best  of  the  union  of 
monarchy  and  the  Constitution  as  the  middle  classes 
always  had  been.  The  exaltation  reached  its 
culminating  point  on  the  9th  of  July,  when  Fernando 
swore  before  the  Cortes  to  respect  the  Constitution. 

The  meeting  was  held  in  the  hall  of  the  ex-convent 
of  Dona    Maria  de   Aragon — now  the    Senate — and 

'  This  famous  hymn — the  Spanish  Marseillaise — was  composed  by  a 
colonel  of  Walloon  Guards,  named  Reart,  who  was  a  fellow-prisoner  of 
Riego  in  France.  It  was  sung  by  Riego's  battalion  when  they  revolted, 
and  Riego  himself  sang  it  in  the  theatre  on  the  day  he  arrived  in 
triumph  at  Madrid, 


under  a  cloudless  sky,  and  through  a  dense  mass  of 
cheering  humanity,  with  church  bells  ringing  and 
salvoes  of  artillery  echoing  the  universal  joy, 
Fernando  with  his  family  made  his  way  to  the 
popular  Cortes  for  the  first  time.  Over  the  facade 
of  the  building  was  graven  in  deep  gilt  letters  the 
words  from  the  Constitution  :  "  Tlie  power  of  enacting 
laivs  is  vested  in  the  Cortes  with  the  King ;"  and  as 
he  stood  before  his  throne,  smiling  and  bowing, 
dressed  in  a  blue  coat  covered  with  gold  embroidery, 
crimson  velvet  breeches  and  waistcoat,  and  his  breast 
blazing  with  diamonds,  over  his  head  in  great  letters, 
that  all  might  see,  an  inscription  ran:  "  The  nation  is 
essentially  sovereign :  consequently  it  possesses  the 
exclusive  right  of  making  fundamental  laws."  Fer- 
nando was  conciliatory  and  friendly,  in  appearance, 
with  his  Liberal  ministers.  He  read  his  speech, 
drawn  up  by  Agustin  Argiielles,  with  many  smiles 
and  much  gracious  gesture,  and  this  time  he  went 
through  his  rejoicing  capital  by  the  prescribed  route 
which  he  had  refused  to  follow  on  his  entry  in  1814. 
The  Liberals  had  won  all  along  the  line,  and  the  only 
thing  that  was  wanted  now  was  for  the  country  and 
the  people  of  all  classes  to  act  honestly,  set  soberly  to 
work,  abandon  heroics,  and  allow  the  elected  rulers  to 
govern  in  peace.  But  this  was  just  what  they  would 
not  do. 

Curiously  enough  the  first  open  demonstration  of 
discord  was  provoked  by  Riego,  the  leader  of  the 
successful  revolt.  One  prominent  Liberal  officer 
after  another  had  come  from  the  Lsle  of  Leon  to 
Madrid — they  were  all  generals  now — and  had  been 

212  "-FERNANDO    THE   DESIRED.'' 

received  with  wreaths  of  laurel,  public  banquets,  and 
floods  of  patriotic  verse  ;  but  the  ambitious  major 
who  had  first  started  the  revolt  preferred  to  remain 
as  general  in  command  of  the  large  body  of  troops 
which  had  now  declared  for  the  Constitution  in 
Andalusia.  This  arose  from  no  modesty  or  dislike 
of  publicity  on  the  part  of  Riego,  for  he  was  really  a 
vain,  shallow  man  with  no  tact  or  practical  wisdom  ; 
but  from  a  desire  to  hold  the  armed  force,  and  so  to 
control  the  new  Government.  The  Liberal  ministers 
endeavoured  to  dissolve  his  force,  which  was  costly 
and  useless  ;  but  Riego  was  too  strong  for  them. 
Then  they  tried  to  coax  him  to  Madrid,  but  for  a 
time  without  success.  At  length  he  suddenly  appeared 
incognito  in  the  capital  (August  31st),  and  in  an 
interview  gave  the  Government  clearly  to  understand 
that  they  owed  their  position  to  him,  and  must  follow 
his  orders. 

His  presence  in  the  capital  was  soon  divulged, 
and  the  excited  orators  at  the  clubs  insisted  upon 
his  going  outside  Madrid  for  the  purpose  of  making 
a  formal  triumphal  re-entry  in  state.  Banquets, 
speeches  without  end,  and,  finally,  a  great  gala 
representation  in  the  Teatro  del  Principe,  hailed 
the  hero  of  Cabezas  de  San  Juan.  Riego,  a  man  of 
small  ability,  quite  lost  his  head,  and  went  from  one 
extravagance  to  another.  He  and  his  aides-de-camp 
publicly  sang  the  Hymn  of  Riego  in  the  theatre  and 
introduced  the  insulting  revolutionary  song  Trdgala 
("  Swallow  it " — meaning  the  Constitution)  which 
they  had  brought  from  the  gutters  of  Cadiz,  and 
which  vied  with  the  Ca  ira  of  the  French  Revolution. 


The  society  of  the  Fontana  de  Oro,  and  the  rest  of 
them,  had  worked  up  public  opinion  to  a  state  of 
excitement  which  threatened  all  government,  and 
when  the  Liberal  ministers  gave  positive  orders  for 
Riego's  troops  in  the  Isle  of  Leon  to  be  disbanded 
and  for  the  firebrand  himself  to  proceed  to  Asturias, 
the  people  in  the  streets  broke  all  bounds.  In  vain 
Alcala  Galiano,  himself  a  subordinate  member  of  the 
Government,  endeavoured  to  restrain  the  excesses 
which  his  own  fiery  eloquence  had  largely  provoked  ; 
the  mob  were  no  longer  content  to  criticise,  but  raised 
subversive  cries,  ranging  from  "  Death  to  the  King  ! " 
and  "  Long  live  the  Republic ! "  to  "  Hurrah  for 
Emperor  Riego!"  This  was  on  the  6th  of  September, 
and  on  the  morning  of  the  7th  astounded  Madrid 
awoke  to  find  the  Puerta  del  Sol  occupied  by  artillery 
with  loaded  pieces  and  lighted  matches,  and  the 
National  Militia  under  arms,  Riego  and  his  staff 
were  hurried  off  to  their  respective  places  of  exile, 
passing  through  a  country  stirred  by  violent  emotions  ; 
the  "  Friends  of  Order  "  in  the  Fontana  de  Oro  and 
many  similar  societies  were  suppressed ;  and  a  deep 
breach  was  opened  in  the  ranks  of  tiie  Liberal  party, 
the  old  Constitutionists  of  181 2  standing  for  the 
existing  regime  and  the  letter  of  the  Code,  whilst  the 
younger  reformers  of  1820  represented  vague  and 
undefined  aspirations,  and  attracted  to  themselves  all 
the  elements  of  discontent  and  disorder. 

The  Cortes  itself  was  in  every  respect  an  excellent 
one,  consisting  of  the  best  and  most  eminent  men  of 
all  the  educated  classes.  Although  gifts  of  eloquence 
were     conspicuous    in    its    members — especially    in 

2t4  ''FERNANDO    THE   DESIRED.^' 

Martinez  de  la  Rosa,  the  Count  de  Toreno,  and 
Agustin  Arguelles — who  being  a  minister,  had  the 
right  to  sit  in  the  chamber,  although  not  a  deputy — 
the  frothy  academic  discussions  that  had  been  the 
bane  of  the  Cortes  of  Cadiz  were  avoided,  and 
practical  legislation  of  a  conciliatory  character  was 
the  main  task  of  the  Cortes  of  1820.    Their  acts  were, 

\  of  course,  condemned  by  the  extremists  of  both 
parties.  The  abolition  of  the  religious  orders,  the 
limitation  on  the  formation  of  new  land  entails,  and 
the  amnesty  to  those  who  followed  King  Joseph,  were 
resented  by  the  Conservatives  ;  whilst  the  immunity 
granted  to  those  officers  who  had — like  General  Freire 
in  Cadiz — resisted  by  force  the  Liberal  rising,  the 
registration,  and  in  many  cases  the  suppression  of 
the  patriotic  societies,  and  the  limitation  of  the 
scandalous  license  of  the  press, ^  brought  down  upon 
them  the  thundered  denunciations  of  the  exaltados  of 
reform.  The  Cortes,  like  the  Government,  were  bent 
upon  reconciling,  if  possible,  constitutional  liberty 
with  monarchy,  but  their  own  inexperience  of  con- 
stitutional methods  of  administration,  and,  above  all 
the  unpreparedness  of  the  country  for  really  Liberal 
institutions,  made  their  task  an  impossible  one  from 
the  first. 

{      In  such  circumstances,  it  was  natural  that  the  hopes 
of  the  King  and  his  friends  should  rise^     He  had  for 

'  The  flood  of  newspapers  were  all  Liberal,  but  the  grades  so  various 
that  their  violence  and  rancour  passed  all  bounds  of  decency.  The 
most  respectable  and  moderate  were  the  Universal,  the  Imparcial— 
which  still  exists — and  the  Censor  ;  the  extreme  party  being  represented 
in  Madrid  by  at  least  fifteen  papers  from  the  comparatively  decent 
Aurora  to  the  shameful  Zurriago. 

£>/SS£NS/0.yS   AND  AN  ARCH  V.  21  5 

a  time  withstood  the  demand  of  his  ministers  for  the 
abolition  of  the  monasteries,  and  at  length  had  to 
give  way,  with  a  bad  grace  ;  but  in  December  he  was 
determined  to  test  how  far  he  might  safely  go  in 
defying  the  party  in  power.  During  his  visit  to  the 
Escorial  he  appointed,  without  consulting  the  Govern- 
ment, a  strongly  reactionary  general,  Carvajal, 
Governor  of  Castile.  The  holder  of  the  office, 
General  Vigodet,  and  the  ministers  indignantly  re- 
fused to  recognise  this  unconstitutional  action  and 
censured  the  King :  but  the  populace  went  much 
further.  Fernando's  popularity  had  already  nearly 
evaporated,  but  this  attempt  at  despotism  gave  it  its 
death-blow.  Violent  insults  and  the  grossest  threats 
were  shouted  at  the  King  wherever  he  appeared  in 
public,  and  in  fear  for  his  crown,  if  not  for  his  life,  he 
hastened  to  revoke  his  nomination.  But  he  nursed 
his  wrath  to  keep  it  warm,  and  thenceforward  cease- 
lessly plotted  with  his  friends,  the  "  Serviles "  and 
"  Persians,"  to  overturn  the  constitutional  regvne. 

The  country  continued  in  a  state  of  febrile  excite- 
ment :  armed  bands  perambulated  the  provinces  under 
various  pretexts,  led  by  old  guerrilleros,  such  as  the 
Curate  Merino  ;  and,  it  was  suspected,  subsidised  by 
the  Court  ;  everywhere  newspapers  and  orators  still 
added  to  the  din  and  the  bitterness,  and  the  most 
extravagant  rumours  of  foreign  intervention,  and  the 
like,  kept  the  agitation  alive.  The  extreme  Liberals 
alternately  laughed  and  railed  at  the  moderate  con- 
stitutional ministers  :  odes,  patriotic  dramatic  repre- 
-sentations,  and  inflated  manifestoes  of  the  press  had 
succeeded  in  persuading  the  exaltados  that  Spain  was 

2l6  '^FERNANDO    THE   DESIRED.'^ 

destined  to  teach  a  slow  old  world  what  liberty 
meant ;  ^  and  fatuous  vanity,  based  on  ignorance,  made 
them  regard  the  nations  which  did  not,  like  Naples, 
Piedmont,  and  Portugal,  at  once  adopt  the  divine 
Constitution  of  1812,  as  being  hopelessly  benighted. 

Such  a  state  of  public  feeling  could  not  fail  to 
produce  before  long  acts  of  physical  violence.  The 
King  never  appeared  in  the  streets  without  being 
greeted  by  a  threatening  mob  with  the  vilest  insults. 
On  the  4th  of  February,  1821,  the  crowd  outside 
the  palace  was  so  threatening  that  the  bodyguard 
retorted — a  conflict  ensued,  in  which  the  guard  was 
overpowered  and  besieged  in  their  barracks.  This 
led  to  the  dissolution  of  the  ancient  corps  by  the 
Government,  and  further  discontent  on  the  part  of 
Fernando.  On  the  opening  of  the  new  session  of 
Cortes,  on  the  ist  of  March,  1821,  he  felt  strong 
enough  to  strike  his  first  blow.  No  longer  genial 
,  and  smiling,  but  with  a  lowering  brow,  the  King 
read  his  speech  from  the  throne,  as  it  had  been 
drawn  up  by  Agustin  Arguelles,  the  principal  minister, 

'  As  an  instance  of  the  exaggerated  importance  given  to  the  Con- 
stitution of  Cadiz  even  by  impartial  EngHsh  observers  at  the  time,  the 
following  lines  from  Quin's  "  Visit  to  Spain"  may  be  quoted.  The 
writer  in  April,  1823,  found  the  unseaworthy  frigates  sold  by  Russia  to 
Spain  being  broken  up,  and  ascribes  the  mutiny  of  the  troops  under 
Riego  and  the  proclamation  of  the  Constitution  to  their  reluctance  to 
trust  themselves  on  such  vessels  :  he  then  goes  on  to  say  :  "  Will  the 
historian  of  1900  have  to  relate  that  with  the  progress  of  light  the  free 
spirit  of  the  Spanish  Constitution  has  overthrown  the  rule  even  of  the 
Russian  autocracy,  and  has  substituted  for  it  a  representative  system  ? 
In  the  details  of  that  event,  can  the  transaction  of  the  three  frigates  be 
forgotten?"  In  the  course  of  this  book,  unha]jpily,  "the  historian  of 
1900  "  has  a  very  different  story  to  tell. 


whom  Fernando  specially  hated.  When  he  came  to 
the  end  of  the  written  message,  he  raised  his  hand, 
and  proceeded  to  make  a  small  speech  on  his  own 
account,  complaining  bitterly  of  the  insults  to  which 
he  was  subjected  by  the  populace  :  "  Insults  and 
affronts,"  he  added,  "  which  would  not  be  offered  to 
me  if  the  executive  power  possessed  the  authority 
and  energy  which  the  Constitution  prescribes,  and 
the  Cortes  expects."  With  these  words  he  descended 
from  the  dai's,  and  left  the  chamber  ;  and  in  the  face 
of  this  marked  personal  attack  the  ministry  could  only 
follow  him  as  speedily  as  possible  to  the  neighbour- 
ing palace  and  tender  their  resignation.  Quick  as 
they  ^\'ere,  however,  they  found  that  Fernando  had 
been  before  them,  for  on  their  arrival  at  the  palace 
they  found  that  their  dismissal  had  already  been 
signed  by  the  monarch.^  This  was  a  departure  from 
the  spirit,  if  not  in  the  letter,  of  the  Constitution 
and  dismay  reigned  amongst  the  reformers.  But  it 
was  not  Fernando's  policy  to  drive  his  triumph  too 
far  at  once,  and  he  affected  to  ignore  his  right  to 
choose  his  own  ministers — by  asking  the  Cortes  to 
recommend  a  cabinet  to  him  ;  an  office  which  they 
V'-isely  declined  ;  upon  which  he  appointed  a 
moderate  Liberal  Government,  the  principal  members 
of  which  were  Eusebio  Bardaxi  and  Ramon  Feliu. 

'  Fernando's  extraordinary  action,  in  thus  attacking  his  ministers 
publicly  and  then  dismissing  them,  gave  rise  at  the  time  to  much 
wondering  speculation.  It  is  now  established  beyond  doubt  that  he 
had  two  reasons  for  acting  as  he  did:  rirst,  to  pose  before  the  Holy 
Alliance  as  a  king  held  in  duress  by  his  Liberal  subjects  ;  and  secondly, 
his  knowledge  that  his  ministers  had  discovered  that  he  was  fomenting 
and  paying  for  the  reactionary  risings  that  were  taking  place  in  different 
parts  of  the  country. 


2l8  ^'FERNANDO    THE    DESIRED." 

The  mob,  the  press,  and  the  orators  were  more 
abusive  than  ever  at  the  King's  unconstitutional  action 
and  at  the  appointment  of  ministers  who  were  known 
to  be  the  most  conservative  of  Constitutionists. 
.There  was  a  wretched  crazy  priest  named  Vinuesa  in 
prison,  in  course  of  trial  for  a  ridiculous,  mad,  re- 
actionary plot,  at  which,  in  normal  times,  men  would 
only  have  laughed.  Now  the  mob  determined  to 
have  the  lunatic's  life.  Overpowering  the  prison 
guards,  the  excited  people  invaded  the  prison  and 
smashed  the  poor  wretch's  head  with  a  pavior's 
hammer.  Neither  the  Government  nor  the  military 
authorities  had  attempted  to  prevent  the  outrage, 
which  they  must  have  foreseen,  and  a  sudden  reaction 
in  the  feeling  of  the  orderly  and  responsible  members 
of  society  took  place.  If  this,  they  said,  was  to  be 
the  result  of  the  Constitution  and  of  liberty,  if  dis- 
'  order,  anarchy,  and  chronic  disturbance,  unchecked 
by  authority,  was  to  be  the  price  paid  for  Liberal 
ministers,  then  the  old  policy  of  absolutism  was 
preferable.  Riego,  too,  who  was  now  Governor  of 
Aragon,  was  encouraging,  rather  than  checking,  dis- 
turbance there,  and  the  populace  of  Madrid,  mad  with 
excitement,  invaded  the  galleries  of  the  Cortes  and 
stopped  the  proceedings  with  their  subversive  cries 
and  insults,  going  to  the  length  of  threatening  the 
lives  of  those  whom  they  called  false  Liberals  :  the 
most  distincruished  and  wisest  members  of  the  Pro- 
gressive  party  such  as  Martinez  de  la  Rosa,  Count 
de  Toreno,  and  others. 

It    became   abundantly   evident    that,    unless    the 
constitutional   party   was   to   fall    under    the   attacks 


of  its  own  violent  following,  it  must  adopt  some  of 
the  methods  of  absolutism  to  suppress  disorder  ;  and 
this  fact  alone  will  show  that  Spain,  as  a  nation,  was 
unfit  and  unready  for  the  full  emancipation  which 
the  Constitution  gave  it.  Facing  the  necessity,  the 
Government  appointed  two  energetic,  determined 
men  as  military  and  civil  Governor  respectively 
of  Madrid — General  Pablo  Morillo  and  an  ex-guer- 
rillero,  San  Martin.  Then  Riego  was  dismissed 
from  his  post  of  Governor  of  Aragon,  and  the  popu- 
lace, emboldened  by  their  long  immunity,  determined 
to  demand  the  restitution  of  their  idol.  They  were 
warned  that  disorder  would  no  longer  be  allowed, 
but  the  orators  and  revolutionary  prints  derided  the 
warning.  A  procession  was  formed,  with  a  portrait 
of  Riego  at  the  head,  to  march  to  the  palace  ;  but 
San  Martin  promptly  scattered  the  heated  patriots 
with  a  bayonet  charge,  and  disorder  in  Madrid  for  a 
time  was  checked.  More  trouble  was  experienced  in 
the  provinces.  Fights  over  Riego's  portraits  took 
place  everywhere.  Seville  for  the  last  two  months  of 
the  year,  1 821,  was  in  open  rebellion,  and  the  position 
of  the  whole  country  early  in  1822  was  truly  lament- 
able. The  friends  of  progress  had  lost  heart,  the 
Government  and  the  Cortes  were  profoundly  dis- 
credited, the  finances  were  in  complete  disorder,  and 
anarchy  reigned  unchecked  throughout  the  country. 
The  army  had  dwindled  almost  to  nothing,  and  the 
navy  had  practically  disappeared,  even  the  ships 
bought  from  the  Russian  Government  having  been 
condemned  as  worthless.  To  add  to  the  confu- 
sion, yellow    fever   raged   through  the   whole    of  the 

220  "■FERNANDO    THE   DESIRED.*' 

south-east  of  Spain,  and  a  French  army  of  observa- 
tion, called  a  Sanitary  Cordon,  was  placed  on  the 
Pyrenean  frontier,  to  the  undisguised  dread  of  the 
Spanish  reformers,  for  the  proceedings  of  successive 
governments  in  Spain  had  aroused  the  deepest  dis- 
trust in  all  Catholic  continental  nations,  which  had 
reason  to  dread  the  advance  of  constitutional  govern- 

One  of  the  most  unwise  clauses  of  the  Constitution 
of  Cadiz  was  that  which  prevented  the  election  of 
deputies  to  two  consecutive  Cortes.  The  Chamber 
elected  in  February,  1822,  was  thus  deprived  of  all 
the  moderate  and  distinguished  members  who  had 
made  the  Cortes  of  1820  respectable,  their  places 
being  filled  for  the  most  part  by  men  of  greatly 
inferior  gifts  and  less  enlightened  views,  nominated 
by  the  clubs  ;  the  majority  of  them  being  extremists 
on  one  side  or  the  other  ;  the  men  of  181 2 — the 
doceanistas  as  they  were  called — having  almost 
entirely  disappeared.  One  advantage  of  the  ineligi- 
bility of  members  for  re-election  was  that  the  King 
could  choose  his  ministers  from  those  who  had 
distinguished  themselves  in  the  last  Cortes,  and 
Fernando  again  selected  a  ministry  composed  of  men 
of  moderate  constitutional  views  headed  by  Martinez 
de  la  Rosa,  who,  under  the  name  of  "  Rosita  la 
pastelera,"  was  a  special  victim  of  the  attacks  of  the 
club  orators  and  the  gutter  press,  but  of  whom, 
curiously  enough,  Fernando  was  personally  very  fond. 
The  Cortes  received  the  nomination  of  Martinez  de 
la  Rosa  with  a  storm  of  disapprobation.  The  flighty 
Riego  was  elected    President   of  the    Chamber,    and 

THE    CORTES    OF  1 822.  221 

from  the  first  moment  it  was  seen  that  the  struggle 
between  the  exaltados  and  the  moderate  Liberal 
ministry  threatened  the  basis  of  parliamentary  insti- 
tutions in  Spain.  Riego  himself  was  a  mere  figure- 
head, without  knowledge,  wisdom,  or  eloquence,  but 
the  masses  had  elevated  him  to  a  pedestal  and  his 
name  was  a  power. 

Antonio  Alcala  Galiano,  the  famous  orator  of  the 
Cafe  Fontana  de  Oro,  who  led  the  exalted  Radicals, 
was  a  man  with  real  ability  who  swayed  the 
majority  of  the  Cortes  at  his  will.  Canga  Arglielles, 
the  great  economist,  in  vain  endeavoured  to  dii'ect 
the  attention  of  the  Chamber  to  the  vital  questions 
of  the  financial  condition  of  the  country,  and  the 
extraordinary  situation  of  the  Colonies,  but  with- 
out avail  :  personal  questions  and  heated  harangues, 
rancorous  opposition  of  the  ministry,  and  more 
or  less  veiled  attacks  upon  the  King  completely 
occupied  the  time  of  the  Cortes,  to  the  exclusion  of 
all  serious  business.  Attempts  had  been  made  by 
the  Government  to  suppress  the  popular  riots,  which 
were  taking  place  all  over  the  country  around  Riego's 
portraits,  and  for  this  they  were  called  to  account  by 
the  Cortes.  Supporters  of  the  ministry  in  the  Cortes 
were  prohibited  by  vote  from  even  visiting  a  Govern- 
ment office  on  any  pretext  whatever,  and  other 
absurd  regulations  of  a  similar  description  were  made 
in  plenty,  with  the  avowed  intention  of  affronting  the 
ministers  ;  whilst  the  highroads  of  Spain  from  north 
to  south  were  infested  with  bands  of  brigands,  and 
poverty  and  misery  dominated  the  land.  Most  of 
these    bands    of    brigands,    such    as    those    of    the 

222  "  FERNANDO    THE   DESIRED." 

"  Trappist"  Mosen  Anton  and  Bessieres  in  Cataluna, 
of  the  Curate  Gorostidi,  Juanito  and  the  Pastor,  in 
Navarre,  and  others,  openly  fought  on  the  side  of 
the  "altar  and  throne,"  or  in  other  words  absolutism, 
although  they  robbed  impartially ;  but  it  was  no 
secret  that  money  and  arms  to  support  them  came 
in  abundance  from  France,  and  that  Fernando  him- 
self secretly  encouraged  them. 

To  add  to  the  confusion  the  armed  force  at  the 
disposal  of  the  Government  was  as  profoundly 
divided  as  the  country  itself  In  some  places  the 
people  and  militia  were  for  the  "absolute  King" 
whilst  the  army  was  for  the  Constitution  ;  in  others 
the  regular  force  shouted  "  Viva  el  Rey  ! "  whilst  the 
militia  cheered  for  the  Constitution  ;  and,  as  may  be 
supposed,  armed  encounters  between  them  were 
frequent.  It  was  evident  that  a  storm  was  brewing, 
for  the  ministers  endeavoured  to  satisfy  the  exalted 
Radicals  in  Parliament  whilst  conciliating  the 
moderates,  and  were  violently  denounced  by  all 
parties.  The  exaltados  in  the  Cortes  passed  a  vote 
of  censure  on  the  Government,  and  petitioned  the 
King  to  adopt  strong  measures  to  suppress  disorder, 
which  in  this  case  meant  disorder  aroused  by  abso- 
lutists ;  but  their  address  to  the  monarch  went  beyond 
this,  and  exhorted  him  to  warn  foreign  Powers  to 
abstain  from  interfering  in  the  domestic  affairs  of 
Spain  and  to  deal  sternly  with  those  Spaniards  who 
were  intriguing  against  the  sovereignty  of  the  people.^ 

'  It  was  believed — probably  correctly — by  the  extreme  Liberals  that 
Martinez  de  la  Rosa,  the  Prime  Minister,  had  given  some  sort  of  pledge 
to  Russia  and   France  to  obtain  a  modification  of  the  more  extreme 


The  Cortes  knew,  as  did  all  the  world,  by  this  time, 
that  Fernando's  palace  at  Aranjuez  was  the  focus  of 
a  vast  conspiracy  against  the  Constitution,  and  that 
the  King  was  in  correspondence  with  Louis  XVIII. 
with  the  object  of  obtaining  French  support  to  re- 
establish absolutism.  Much  as  Fernando  was  blamed 
for  this  at  the  time — particularly  in  England — it  was 
not  an  unnatural  course  for  him  to  take.  The  Liberal 
party,  as  we  have  seen,  was  hopelessly  divided,  and 
could  not  govern  except  on  absolutist  lines ;  the 
Constitution  of  Cadiz  had  broken  down,  from  inevit- 
able causes  which  has  already  been  pointed  out,  and 
the  country  was  a  prey  to  complete  anarchy.  The 
friends  of  despotism  thought  they  could  do  better 
and  endeavoured  to  get  a  chance   of  doing  it. 

Cries  of  "  Viva  el  Rey  !  "  were  on  the  30th  of  May 
1822,  raised  simultaneously  in  various  parts  of  the 
country,  in  Valencia  especially,  resulting  in  an  armed 
encounter  ;  and  shortly  afterwards  "  the  Trappist " 
and  his  band  captured  and  occupied  the  Prince- 
bishopric  of  Urgel,  where  they  set  up  a  sort  of 
Regency  in  the  name  of  Fernando,  whom  they 
affected  to  believe  was  a  prisoner  in  the  hands  of  the 

clauses  of  the  Constitution,  particularly  clause  3  which  asserted  the 
absolute  sovereignty  of  the  people.  This  was  the  principal  reason  for 
Liberal  distrust  of  the  ministry  (who  were  drawn  from  the  ranks  of  the 
aristocracy  and  were  jeered  at  under  the  name  of  anilkros,  "  ring- 
wearers  ")  and  was  at  the  bottom  of  the  subsequent  disturbances.  The 
distrust  of  Martinez  de  la  Rosa's  ministry,  and  even  of  that  of  his 
extremely  Radical  successor,  San  Miguel,  led  to  the  formation  of  a  great 
organisation  throughout  Spain  called  the  Comuncros,  or  "Sons  of 
Padilla,"  whose  members  were  pledged  to  defend  the  third  clause  of 
the  Constitution  with  their  lives. 

224  "  FERNANDO    THE   DESIRED." 

Liberals.  But  still  the  Government  did  nothing,  or 
next  to  nothing,  and  the  Sessions  of  the  Cortes  were 
closed  on  the  30th  of  June  in  the  presence  of  the 
King,  amidst  general  alarm  of  violent  change. 
There  was  no  cheering  for  Fernando  now,  either  in 
the  Cortes  or  the  streets  of  Madrid,  but  as  he  entered 
his  palace  rival  cries  of  "  Viva  el  Rey  absoluto  !  "  and 
"  Viva  Riego !  "  led  to  an  armed  struggle  between 
troops,  militia,  and  mob,  in  which  many  persons  were 

The  cry  in  favour  of  absolutism  had  been  raised 
by  the  King's  guard,  and  after  the  disturbance 
had  been  quelled  one  of  their  officers,  a  strong 
Constitutionist,  named  Landaburu,  upbraided  his 
men  for  their  treason,  and  threatened  to  chastise 
them.  He  was  at  once  struck  down  and  murdered 
by  the  soldiers,  and  the  news  ran  like  wildfire  through 
the  city.  The  exaltados  from  the  clubs,  the  excited 
lower  classes,  and  the  National  Militia,  crowded  to  the 
palace,  and  surrounded  the  revolted  royal  guard.  Thus 
they  remained  all  night,  whilst  the  King  was  con- 
sulting the  Council  of  State  as  to  whether  he  might 
consider  his  promise  to  respect  the  Constitution 
binding.  They  told  him  that  the  nation  had  broken 
no  portion  of  the  compact,  nor  could  he  do  so. 
In  the  meanwhile  the  Government  still  remained 
quiescent,  and  the  militia  all  the  next  day  stood  to 
their  arms  surrounding  the  royal  guard  in  the  court- 
yard of  the  palace.  On  the  second  night  (July  ist) 
the  King  sent  away  four  out  of  the  six  battalions 
of  guards  in  the  capital  to  the  royal  suburban  seat  of 
the  Pardo.     The   militia  and   the  populace,  in  deep 


distrust  of  the  King,  suspected  some  trap  and 
occupied  the  Plaza  Mayor,  the  Puerta  del  Sol,  and 
other  strategic  points  of  the  city.  For  the  next  five  , 
days  affairs  thus  remained  with  the  city  under  arms  ;"' 
all  attempts  to  persuade  the  militia  to  retire  to  their 
barracks  being  unsuccessful.  Civilians  and  soldiers 
joined  their  ranks  by  the  hundred,  and  amongst  the 
Liberal  majority  and  the  municipality  of  the  city  the 
known  falseness  of  the  King  and  the  inertia  of  Mar- 
tinez de  la  Rosa  and  the  ministry,  established  the 
firm  conviction  that  an  attempt  was  to  be  made  to 
overturn  the  Constitution. 

The  ministers,  utterly  cowed,  could  only  beg  the 
King  to  accept  their  resignation,  which  he  refused, 
promising,  however,  that  the  guards  should  submit 
and  be  sent  to  their  barracks.  But  the  guards,  who 
doubtless  had  their  orders,  refused  to  move,  except  as 
they  pleased  ;  and  hearing  that  Government  troops 
were  concentrating  on  Madrid,  the  four  rebel  battalions 
of  guards  quietly  left  the  Pardo  on  the  night  of  the  6th 
of  July  and  fell  upon  the  Liberals  in  Madrid  unaware. 
There  were  skirmishes  between  the  guards  and  the 
militia  in  various  parts  of  the  city,  but  a  regular  pitched 
battle  was  fought  in  the  Plaza  Mayor  on  the  7th  of 
July.  The  guards,  and  especially  an  officer  named 
Fernandez  de  Cordoba,  fought  desperately  ;  but  the 
militia  was  commanded  by  such  generals  as  Alava 
and  Ballesteros,  and  the  rebel  battalions  were  forced 
to  retreat  to  the  Puerta  del  Sol  to  join  a  body  of  their 
friends  there.  Thence  they  were  chased  to  the 
palace,  where  the  fight  continued  ;  but  this  was  too 
near  to  please  Fernando,  who   was  no   hero,  and   he 


226  "FERNANDO    THE   DESIREd!^ 

sent  down  word  by  a  lackey  that  the  firing  must  cease. 
General  Ballesteros,  the  constitutional  leader,  to  whom 
the  message  was  given,  replied,  "  Tell  the  King  to 
order  the  rebels  who  surround  him  to  lay  down  their 
arms,  or  the  bayonets  of  the  freemen  will  pursue  them 
even  into  the  royal  chamber."  The  guards  then 
entered  into  parley  to  lay  down  their  arms  and  retire, 
but  whilst  the  preliminaries  were  being  settled,  the 
mutineers  suddenly  fired  a  volley,  and  fled  down  the 
steep  slope  to  the  Manzanares,  crying  "Viva  el  Rey  !  " 
They  were  followed  by  the  militia  and  Government 
cavalry  pell-mell  down  the  declivity,  and  most  of 
them  were  slaughtered  as  they  ran.  The  King  was 
terrified  to  find  that  the  palace  was  left  to  the  mercy 
of  the  crowd,  with  neither  guards  nor  Government 
troops  to  protect  it ;  but  he  had  nothing  to  fear,  for 
on  this  occasion  the  victors  made  no  bad  use  of  their 
victory  so  far  as  the  monarch  was  concerned.^ 

The  ministers  insisted  on  retiring,  against  all  the 
persuasions  of  the  King  and  the  Council  of  State, 
and  Fernando,  beset  on  all  sides  by  extremists,  was 
forced  to  bend  his  head  to  the  men  he  hated,  and 
whom  he  intended  at  the  first  opportunity  to  .send  to. 
exile  or  death.  Riego  was  flattered  and  caressed  at 
the  palace,  and,  as  usual,  acted   like  a  simpleton,^  and 

'  It  is  related  that  Fernando  watched  the  flight  and  slaughter  ot  his 
guards  from  a  window  and  exclaimed  :  "  Serve  the  fools  right.  At  all 
events  I  am  inviolable." 

"  Riego  went  from  the  palace  to  the  Plaza  Mayor,  where  he  made 
one  of  his  simple,  incoherent  speeches  to  the  mob,  saying  that  the  King 
did  not  like  to  hear  the  Trdgala  sung.  Riego  therefore  begged  his 
hearers  to  desist  from  singing  it  and  also  to  cease  the  cry  of  "  Viva 
Riego  !  "  Needless  to  say  that  "  Viva  Riego  !  "  became  more  general 
than  ever. 


in  August  Fernando  appointed  a  Radical  ministry  led 
by  Colonel  Evaristo  de  San  Miguel,  one  of  the  most 
prominent  ofificers  who  had  revolted  with  Riego  and 
opposed  the  royal  guard  on  the  memorable  7th  of 
July.  The  new  ministers  were  mostly  young  and  all 
obscure,  inexperienced  men,  idols  of  the  oratorical 
clubs  and  the  masonic  lodges,  which  had  now  become 
parts  of  a  regular  political  organisation.  The  ministers 
soon  found,  however,  that  if  they  were  to  govern  at 
all,  it  must  be  on  somewhat  different  lines  from  those 
they  had  advocated  in  the  irresponsibility  of  their 
clubs  ;  and  the  "  Conmneros "  at  once  branded  even 
them  as  reactionaries,  with  apparently  no  reason  what- 
ever except  that  the  "  masonic "  party  and  not  the 
"  Comuneros"  were  enjoying  the  sweets  of  office  and 
patronage.  There  was  no  slackness  in  the  removal 
from  the  surroundings  of  the  King  of  every  officer 
even  suspected  of  anti-constitutional  leanings,  and 
Fernando,  to  all  appearance,  abandoned  those  who 
fought  for  his  cause  without  an  effort  to  save  them. 

Persecution  followed  unmercifully  those  who  had 
helped  the  guards  or  opposed  the  Constitution,  and 
the  mob  in  many  of  the  great  cities  wreaked  a  bloody 
vengeance  unchecked  upon  those  who  had  conspi- 
cuously served  the  fallen  regime.  The  ferocious  Elio, 
who  had  been  confined  in  a  dungeon  at  Valencia 
since  the  rising  of  Riego,  was  now  tried  by  a  council 
of  war  of  militia  officers  and  condemned  to  death  by 
the  garotte,  a  sentence  which  he  suffered  with  heroic 
fortitude  on  the  4th  of  September,  1822. 

As  his  friends  and  partisans  went  to  banishment,  to 
dungeons,  or  to  death,  Fernando  raised  no  protest  but 

228  "  FERNANDO    THE   DESIRED." 

smiled  and  joked  sardonically  with  his  Radical  minis- 
ters, as  he  had  done  with  their  various  predecessors, 
biding  his  time  until  he  could  be  revenged  with  safety 
to  himself.  Through  Cataluna,  Aragon,  Navarre,  and 
Biscay,  and  partially  in  the  centre  and  east  of  Spain, 
civil  war  was  raging.  Everywhere  bands  of  armed  men 
calling  themselves  "  soldiers  of  the  faith  "  resisted  the 
Government  troops  and  militia.  The  King,  they 
said,  was  a  prisoner  in  the  hands  of  the  "  free- 
masons," and  they  would  acknowledge  no  Govern- 
ment but  the  Regency  that  reigned  in  his  name  in  the 
remote  mountain  stronghold  of  the  Seo  de  Urgel. 
As  if  to  give  colour  to  their  assertion,  Fernando  in 
the  autumn  signified  his  intention  of  going  to  the 
palace  of  Aranjuez  ;  but  the  Government  forbade 
him,  and  thenceforward  he  gave  himself  the  airs  of 
a  captive. 

To  face  the  formidable  revolt,  which  they  knew 
was  in  active  negotiation  with  France  for  armed 
support  to  release  Fernando,  the  Government  decreed 
that  every  male  citizen  of  i8  years  and  upwards 
should  join  the  national  militia  and  fight  for  the 
Constitution,  and  the  forces  on  both  sides  were  now 
marshalled.  A  manifesto  of  the  absolutist  Regency 
of  Urgel — the  Marquis  of  Mataflorida,  the  Arch- 
bishop of  Tarragona,  and  Baron  Eroles — dated  1 5th 
of  August,  1822,  denounced  the  Constitution  of  Cadiz, 
the  Cortes,  and  all  its  works,  and  called  upon 
Spaniards  to  liberate  their  captive  King.  In  Cataluna, 
Navarre,  and  the  north  generally,  the  effect  was  elec- 
trical, Fired  with  religious  zeal,  men,  women,  and 
children   flew   to  arms  ;   but    almost  everywhere  the 


bands  were  beaten  by  the  Government  troops,  and 
hundreds  of  fugitives  of  the  faith  flocked  over  the 
frontier  into  France,  there  to  await  the  prayed-for 
entrance  of  the  great  French  army  of  dehverance 
which  was  standing  waiting  for  the  word  to  advance. 
The  most  horrible  excesses  of  cruelty  were  practised 
on  both  sides,  even  by  civilians  of  the  rival  parties  in 
the  towns  ;  General  Mina  himself,  in  his  Memoirs 
deploring,  though  the  old  guerrillero  was  not 
squeamish,  the  scandalous  abuses  of  the  constitu- 
tional troops  which  he  commanded  in  Cataluiia. 

The  condition  of  affairs  in  Madrid  in  the  mean- 
while was  more  disturbed  than  ever.  All  the 
oratorical  clubs  had  been  reopened  on  the  motion  of 
Alcala  Galiano,  and  the  lead  in  influence  and  wordi- 
ness was  now  taken  by  a  society  meeting  in  the 
refectory  of  the  disestablished  monastery  of  St. 
Thomas.  This  society  had  assumed  the  name  of  the 
constitutional  officer  of  the  Guards  who  had  been 
murdered  by  his  men  on  the  30th  June,  Landaburu, 
and  it  represented  all  that  was  most  extreme  on  the 
constitutional  side.  This  and  similar  clubs,  together 
with  the  disgraceful  excesses  of  the  gutter  press,  kept 
the  city  in  a  continual  state  of  turmoil  and  alarm. 
The  French  were  coming  ;  the  King  had  escaped  ; 
San  Martin,  the  Governor  of  Madrid  in  the  last 
Government,  had  been  released  from  prison ;  these  and 
ma  ly  other  such  rumours  sent  Madrid  into  whirlwinds 
of  excitement  night  and  day.  The  Government 
endeavoured  to  calm  matters  by  calling  an  extra- 
ordinary session  of  the  Cortes,  much  against  Fer- 
nando's    will,    and    compelled    the    King    to    sign    a 


constitutional  counter-manifesto  in  answer  to  the 
proclamation  of  the  Regency  of  Urgel,  but  with  very 
little  effect. 

There  was  no  doubt  now  about  Fernando  being 
practically  a  prisoner  of  his  own  Government,  and 
his  condemnation  of  the  ''facciosos"  deceived  no 
one,  and  least  of  all  the  representatives  of  foreign 
governments,  who  looked  with  alarm  and  indignation 
at  the  anarchy  which  prevailed.  Mina  in  Cataluna, 
and  Espinosa  and  Torrijos  in  Navarre,  were,  how- 
ever, rapidly  mastering  the  reactionaries,^  and  in 
November  the  Urgel  Regency  fled  to  French  terri- 
tory. The  Holy  Alliance  now  saw  that  they  must 
act  in  earnest  if  they  were  to  destroy  constitutional 
monarchy  in  Spain.  France  had  an  army  of  100,000 
men  waiting  on  the  frontier,  and  the  Congress  of 
Verona  considered  a  representation  from  the  Regency 
of  Urgel,  with  the  result  that  France  received  a 
subsidy  and  a  mandate  from  Austria,  Prussia,  and 
Russia  to  put  an  end  to  the  constitutional  regime  in 
Spain.  Great  l^ritain  refused  to  join,  and  at  the 
request  of  San  Miguel  offered  her  mediation.  Not- 
withstanding the  personal  efforts  of  Wellington, 
however,  the  mediation  was  refused  by  France,  and 
the  haughty  notes  of  the  Powers,  dictating  a  change 
in  the  internal  government  of  a  friendly  country,  were 

'  As  an  instance  of  the  bitter  feeling  on  both  sides  the  following  case 
may  be  cited.  Mina  took  possession  of  the  town  of  Castelfollit,  where- 
upon the  whole  population  followed  the  retreating  reactionaries.  Mina 
then  ordered  every  wall  and  building  to  be  levelled  to  the  ground,  leav- 
ing only  one  column  standing,  upon  which  he  had  inscribed  :  "  Here 
stood  Castelfollit.  Other  towns  take  warning.  Give  no  shelter  to  the 
enemies  of  the  fatherland." 


presented  early  in  January,  1823.  The  Cortes  and 
the  Constitutionists  were  furious  with  indignation 
and  rage.i  Orators  and  the  press  grew  more  vehement 
than  ever,  the  foreign  ambassadors,  except  Sir  WilHam 
A'Court  and  those  of  the  smaller  Powers,  received 
their  passports,  and  overburdened  Spain  was  once 
more  face  to  face  with  a  foreign  invasion. 

To  avoid  such  a  calamity  fresh  attempts  were 
made  by  England  to  persuade  the  Spaniards  to 
modify  their  Constitution,  at  least  to  the  extent  of 
establishing  a  second  chamber,  and  San  Miguel  at 
one  time  seemed  to  favour  such  an  idea  ;  but  the 
Government  were  at  the  mercy  of  the  excited  ex- 
tremists, inflated  with  the  bombastic  eloquence  of 
the  eternal  orators,  and  it  was  soon  understood  that 
any  surrender  in  the  face  of  foreign  threats  was 
impossible.  To  make  matters  worse,  in  the  midst 
of  the  turmoil,  at  the  end  of  January,  news  came 
that  the  factious  band  of  Bessieres  was  near  at  hand, 
threatening  the  capital  itself,  having  beaten  a  Govern- 
ment force  under  O'Daly  at  Brihuega,  but  shortly 
afterwards  they  were  forced  to  retreat  by  Henry 
O'Donnell,  Count  of  La  Bisbal.  Though  thus  in 
hourly  danger  of  foreign  attack,  or  the  domination 
of  the  absolutist  party,  nothing  would  convince  the 
Constitutionists  that  they  had  anything  serious  to 
fear.  They  had  no  army  to  speak  of,  except  the 
militia  levee  en  masse,  the  King  was  known  to  be 
against    them    and  held    in  duress,  a  great  army  of 

'  An  interesting  report  of  this  sitting  of  the  Cortes,  and  of  the  details 
of  the  negotiations  at  the  period  with  England,  will  be  found  in  Michael 
Quin's  "  Visit  to  Spain." 


Frenchmen  were  ready  to  march  upon  the  capital, 
but  it  was  still  considered  sacrilege  and  treason  even 
to  suggest  that  the  slightest  modification  could  be 
made  in  the  sacred  fetish  of  the  Constitution  of  1812. 
Oratory  and  the  press,  like  an  undammed  flood,  swept 
away  reason  and  good  sense,  and  it  was  soon  clear  to 
Canning  and  the  English  Government  that  the 
infatuated  people  must  be  left  to  suffer  the  conse- 
quences of  their  own  unreasonableness. 

On  the  28th  of  January,  Louis  XVIII.  opened  the 
French  Chambers  with  a  speech  announcing  that 
100,000  French  troops  would  at  once  enter  Spain 
under  the  Duke  of  Angouleme,  for  the  purpose  of 
enabling  Fernando  VII.  to  give  freely  to  his  country 
the  institutions  he  thought  best,  and  to  end  the 
constitutional  system.  The  speech  stirred  Spain  to 
the  heart.  It  was  thought  to  forebode  an  attempt  to 
obtain  possession  of  Fernando  and  to  carry  him  to 
France,  and  the  shameful  days  of  Bayonne  and  of 
Valengay  were  too  recent  to  have  been  forgotten  by 
Spaniards.  On  the  14th  of  February,  1823,'  San 
Miguel  came  to  the  King  late  at  night  and  asked 
permission  to  submit  the  speech  of  Louis  XVIII.  to 
the  Cortes,  which,  the  next  day,  authorised  the 
Government  to  make  preparations  to  resist  the 
threatened  invasion,  and  to  remove  the  seat  of 
government  to  a  safer  place  than  Madrid.  When, 
however,  the  ministry  proposed  the  latter  step  to  the 
King  he  began  by  temporising,  but,  becoming  bolder 

'  For  the  particulars  of  the  events  of  the  next  six  months  I  am  largely 
indebted  to  the  King's  own  carefully  kept  diary,  recently  printed  by 
my  friend  the  Count  de  Casa  Valencia,  the  nephew  of  Alcala  Galiano. 


in  a  day  or  two,  flatly  refused  to  budge.  When  on 
the  1 8th  he  gave  the  ministers  a  positive  refusal,  the 
King  relates  that  all  the  ministers  marched  out  of  the 
room  whistling  and  singing  the  "  Hymn  of  Riego." 
The  next  day  the  Cortes  rose,  but  the  King  refused 
to  be  present,  or  to  discuss  the  question  of  his  removal, 
and  on  leaving  the  Chamber  the  ministers  were 
astounded  to  learn  that  the  King  had  dismissed  them. 

This  was  too  much  for  Madrid  to  stand  quietly, 
and  soon  the  palace  was  besieged  by  noisy  crowds 
demanding  the  retention  of  San  Miguel.  Climbing 
balconies,  peering  into  windows,  they  shouted  insults 
and  threats  to  Fernando  and  his  family,  demanding 
the  appointment  of  a  Regency  and  the  immediate 
withdrawal  of  the  decree  of  dismissal  of  the  ministry, 
and  terrified  the  King  out  of  his  wits.  As  usual, 
he  tried  to  calm  the  mob  by  vague  promises  about 
consulting  the  Council  of  State,  but  it  would  not  do. 
He  had  at  last  to  get  out  of  bed  and  promise  all  the 
crowd  demanded.  "  For,"  says  he,  "  I  had  no  force 
that  would  obey  me,"  and  by  two  o'clock  in  the 
morning  the  rioters  had  gradually,  dispersed.  But 
still  Fernando  was  deaf  to  all  persuasions  about  his 
leaving  Madrid,  and  at  length  the  ministers,  tired 
of  his  obstinacy,  insisted  themselves  upon  retiring 
(February  25th). 

This  was  the  chance  for  the  most  extreme  group, 
the  "  Cojimneros,"  and  by  arousing  the  King's  fear  of 
a  popular  insurrection  in  the  city,  they  obtained  a 
majority  of  the  posts  in  the  new  ministry  ;  the  first 
minister,  however,  Flores  Estrada,  having  from  his 
long  exile  in  England  learnt  some  political   wisdom, 

234  ^'FERNANDO    THE    DESIKED.'* 

and  his  age  and  former  great  wealth  giving  him  a  due 
sense  of  responsibility.  The  only  other  member  of 
the  ministry  of  any  standing  was  General  Torrijos, 
Minister  of  War,  an  ardent  young  reformer,  of  whom 
we  shall  have  to  speak  later. 

Fernando  had  changed  his  ministers  in  the  hope  of 
avoiding  the  voyage  to  Seville  ;  but  he  had  reckoned 
without  the  Cortes,  which  met  in  extraordinary  session 
on  the  ist  of  March.  Fernando  was,  or  pretended  to 
be,  disabled  by  gout ;  and,  in  his  own  words  :  "  My 
speech  was  read,  in  which  San  Miguel  made  me  say 
that  I  would  undertake  the  journey  when  I  considered 
it  to  be  opportune."  The  Cortes  knew  full  well  that 
if  it  were  left  to  the  King's  discretion  the  voyage 
would  never  take  place,  and  insisted  upon  his  making 
up  his  mind  within  twenty-four  hours.  Much  heated 
and  insulting  oratory  was  wasted  over  the  denunciation 
of  the  King  ;  but  Fernando  exhausted  every  shift  and 
subterfuge  to  avoid  the  abandonment  of  Madrid  on 
the  approach  of  the  French  army  that  was  to  deliver 
him.  Eight  Court  medicos  certified  that  he  was  unfit 
to  travel,  but  a  Committee  of  the  Cortes  heckled  the 
doctors,  and  ended  by  saying  that  they  disbelieved 
both  them  and  their  patient.  Then  Fernando  said 
he  had  no  money,  to  which  the  Cortes  replied  that 
no  more  had  they,  but  they  would  collect  enough 
for  the  voyage  in  any  case.  And  so,  with  one  excuse 
after  another,  nearly  three  weeks  dragged  on,  until 
the  Cortes  lost  patience  and  threatened  to  appoint  a 
Regency,  for  which  the  people  were  already  clamour- 
ing, whereupon  Fernando  was  forced  to  yield.  He  and 
his  family  left  his  capital  for  Seville  on  the  20th  of 


March,  followed  by  the  Government  and  the  Cortes, 
whilst  the  French  army  crossed  the  frontier  on  the 
7th  of  April. 

Angouleme  met  with  no  such  resistance  in  Spain 
as  that  which  had  been  offered  to  Napoleon  fifteen 
years  before.  Mina,  aided  by  San  Miguel — a  better 
soldier  than  he  had  proved  a  minister — did  his  best 
with  his  poor  fighting  material,  but  the  divisions  of 
Ballesteros  and  La  Bisbal '  hardly  made  a  stand. 
For  it  was  no  longer  the  whole  of  Spain  fighting 
against  the  foreigner,  as  it  had  been  in  1808,  but  one 
half  of  the  country  in  conflict  with  the  other  half 
The  National  Militia,  mostly  young,  ardent,  and 
inexperienced  men,  were  not  the  army  of  a  nation, 
but  of  a  political  party  which  was  hated  by  the  King, 
the  aristocracy,  the  Church,  and  the  dregs.  In  some 
towns  they  were  welcomed,  and  in  others  resisted,  so 
that  the  struggle,  such  as  it  was,  never  assumed  a 
national  aspect.  The  extreme  circumspection  of  the 
Duke  of  Angouleme  aided  this.  His  manifesto  to 
the  Spaniards  assured  them  that  he  was  no  enemy 
but  a  helper  ;  that  the  Spanish  flag  alone  shall  wave 
over  the  land,  that  Spanish  laws  alone  rule,  and 
Spanish  citizens  alone  administer  in  the  name  of  the 
rightful  Spanish  sovereign.  The  peaceful  entry  of 
Angouleme  in  Madrid  was  preceded  by  a  skirmish 
provoked    by    the    absolutist    chief,    Bessieres,    who, 

'  The  shifty  O'Donnell  planned  a  wholesale  desertion  of  his  army  to 
the  French,  which  being  discovered,  he  fled.  His  force,  however, 
broke  up,  a  part  joining  the  French  and  the  rest  uniting  with  the 
constitutionalist  force.  O'Donnell  himself  was  impeached  by  the 
expiring  Cortes  at  Cadiz,  but  he  was  out  of  their  reach,  and  their  de- 
cisions at  the  time  had  no  eflect  upon  any  one. 

236  "  FERNANDO    THE   DESIRED." 

ignoring  the  arrangement  made  by  the  constitutional 
general,  Zayas,  with  the  French,  rode  with  his  troop, 
reinforced  by  many  of  the  vicious  classes  of  the 
capital,  to  the  centre  of  the  Calle  de  Alcala,  and 
raised  a  cry  of  "  Down  with  the  Constitution  !  Long 
live  the  absolute  King !  "  But  he  and  his  band  were 
put  to  flight,  and  on  the  23rd  of  May  the  French  army 
marched  into  Madrid  by  one  gate,  whilst  the  troops 
of  the  Constitution  marched  out  of  the  other. 

Whatever  may  have  been  the  hopes  originally  held 
by  the  Madrileiios  as  to  the  Constitution  of  Cadiz, 
there  was  no  doubt  now  of  the  opinion  of  the  great 
majority  of  the  citizens  who  were  left  behind  after  the 
exodus  of  the  Liberal  Government  with  its  officials  and 
troops.  The  ashes  of  Daoiz  and  Velarde,  the  heroes  of 
the  2nd  of  May,  had  been  carried  away  by  the  Liberal 
Government  to  save  them  from  profanation,  and  it 
would  seem  as  if,  at  the  same  time,  the  very  memory 
of  the  glorious  day  had  faded  from  the  minds  of  the 
fickle  townsfolk.  For  now  a  French  army  was 
received  with  fervent  blessings  and  rejoicing.  A  few 
days  afterwards,  at  the  instance  of  Angouleme,  a 
Regency  was  nominated  by  the  Council  of  State  and 
the  Council  of  the  Indies  to  rule  Spain  in  the  name 
of  Fernando  until  he  should  obtain  his  liberty.  The 
Regency  consisted  of  the  Dukes  of  Infantado  and 
Montemar,  the  Bishop  of  Osma  and  Gonzales  Calde- 
ron,  all  strong  royalists,  as  was  their  secretary, 
Francisco  Tadeo  Calomarde,  of  whom  much  more  will 
be  heard  later.  The  ministers  appointed  by  the  new 
Regents  were  reactionaries  of  the  most  exaggerated  I 
type,  men  of  no   ability  or   note,  chosen   mainly  for     j: 

angouleme's  invasion.  237 

their  strong  royalist  opinions.  The  fury  of  reaction 
began  at  once.  Decrees  rained  from  the  Regents 
abolishing  everything  that  the  Liberals  had  enacted. 
Persecution,  bitter  and  severe,  pursued  all  the  Consti- 
tutionists  left  in  Madrid  ;  a  force  of  royalist  volun- 
teers was  formed  to  counterbalance  the  National 
Militia,  and  to  all  suggestions  of  moderate  men  that 
some  measure  of  toleration,  or  at  least  of  patience, 
should  be  shown,  Angouleme  gave  no  reply  but  vague 

In  the  meanwhile,  Fernando  had  arrived  at  Seville, 
having  changed  his  ministry  again  to  another  group 
belonging  to  the  masonic  party,  with  Pando  at  its  head. 
But  ministers  now  were  useless  and  of  no  importance.' 
The  French  army  was  rapidly  approaching  Seville, 
the  Constitutionists  had  no  army,  no  money,  and  no 
organisation.  The  King  was  sardonically  jocose  as 
the  good  news  daily  reached  him,  and  the  hearts 
of  the  Liberals  grew  more  and  more  despairing. 
The  last  and  only  step  to  be  taken  was  obviously 
to  move  on  to  insular  Cadiz  ;  but  when  the  Cortes 
conveyed  this  determination  to  Fernando  he  flatly 
declined  to  go  any  further.  Once  more  the  same 
scenes  were  enacted  as  those  which  preceded  his 
departure  from  Madrid,  whilst  the  Cortes  continued 
to  discuss  interminably  and  pass  important  laws, 
which  under  the  circumstances  were  absurd,  for  no 
one  now  paid  any  attention  to  the  acts  or  decrees 
of  a  Liberal  Government  which  was  unable  to  sup- 
press anarchy  and   murder  even   in  Seville  itself,  or 

■  The  Minister  of  War,  General  Sanchez  Salvador,  comtaitted  suicide 
the  day  after  the  arrival  in  Cadiz. 

238  ^^  FERNANDO    THE   DESIRED.* 

to  maintain  any  appearance  of  unity  in  its  own 

Amidst  confusion  indescribable,  the  Cortes  sat  in 
Seville  on  the  loth  of  June  ;  when  Alcald  Galiano 
conveyed  to  them  the  news  that  the  King  positively 
refused  to  leave  the  city,  and  it  was  decided  that  a 
committee  of  members  should  at  once  present  an 
ultimatum  to  the  King.  Either  he  must  leave  next 
day  at  midday  voluntarily,  or  he  would  be  considered 
as  not  responsible  for  his  actions,  and  taken  by  force. 
Fernando  had  used  every  argument  and  persuasion  in 
his  power.  If  they  wanted  to  kill  him,  he  said,  let 
them  do  it  at  once.  He  promised  the  ministers  and 
other  Liberals  his  mercy  and  goodwill  if  they  were 
oblis^ed  to  surrender  to  the  French,  in  which  case  it 
would  be  as  easy  to  surrender  in  Seville  as  in  Cadiz. 
But  they  would  not  trust  him  ;  and  when  he  finally 
told  the  deputation  of  the  Cortes  that  he  refused  to 
leave  Seville  except  by  force  (June  i  ith)  no  time  was 
lost  in  appointing  a  Regency  consisting  of  Cayetano 
Vald^s,  Gabriel  Ciscar,  and  Caspar  Vigodet. 

This  was  an  act  of  desperation  of  which  Fernando 
promptly  took  one  advantage.  Sending  for  all  the 
representatives  of  foreign  Powers  in  Seville,  he  pro- 
tested to  them  against  the  illegal  act  of  his  Cortes. 
Already  the  cause  was  lost,  and  some  of  the  most 
active  of  the  Constitutionists  endeavoured  to  find 
salvation.  Vigodet,  one  of  the  Regents,  consulted 
the  King  before  he  accepted  the  post  as  to  whether 
it  would  be  considered  to  be  a  crime  if  he  did  so. 
Fernando  replied  that  he  would  rather  be  in  the 
hands  of  friends,  such  as  Vigodet,  than   in  those  of 

SIEGE   OF  CADIZ.  239 

enemies,  and  told  liim  to  accept.'  Ciscar,  too, 
another  Regent,  came  weeping  to  the  King  the 
day  after  his  appointment,  deploring  that  he  must 
ask  him  to  go  to  Cadiz,  and  the  Generals  Santa  Cruz 
and  Copons  told  the  King  they  would  not  move 
unless  he  ordered  them  to  go,  which  he  did.  On  the 
1 2th  of  June  the  royal  family  left  anarchical  Seville 
amidst  the  curses,  threats,  and  insults  of  the  mob  and 
militiamen  ;  and  on  Sunday,  the  15th,  the  King  and 
his  suite  reached  San  Fernando,  on  the  isle  of  Leon. 
Here  the  King  dined  ;  and,  as  he  rose  from  the  table, 
Valdes,  the  first  Regent,  came  to  him  and  in  tones  of 
profound  respect  said  :  "  Sire,  the  Regency  has  now 
ceased  to  exist."  With  a  sinister  laugh  Fernando 
replied  :  "  Oh  !  very  well !  You  mean  to  say  that  my 
ineptitude  and  lunacy  have  ceased.     I  am  glad  of  it." 

Fernando  has  set  down  in  his  diary,  in  bitter- 
ness of  heart,  the  shame  and  sufferings  he  endured 
in  the  four  days'  journey  from  Seville  to  Cadiz. 
Through  scorching  heat,  over  bad  and  dusty  roads, 
unable  either  to  eat  or  sleep  from  fear  and  excite- 
ment, surrounded  by  civilian  soldiers,  who  treated 
him  like  a  prisoner,  insulted  and  contemned  by  all, 
he  was  still  full  of  promises  of  future  kindness  to 
those  around  him  ;  but  it  is  not  strange  that  he  thus 
treasured  up  all  the  slights  put  upon  him,  and  in 
due  time  paid  them  back  with  interest. 

Not  many  days  afterwards  Cadiz  was  beleaguered 
by  Frenchmen  by  land  and  sea,  and  once  more  French 
cannon   thundered  on   to  the  island  city,  whilst  the 

'   Fernando,  nevertheless,  condemned  him  to  be  hanged  like  the  other 
Liberals  in  due  time. 


Spanish  King,  on  a  look-out  tower,  displayed  rockets 
and  roman  candles,  which  every  one  knew  were  signals 
to  the  besiegers.  But  though  every  one  knew,  no  one 
protested  Apathy  and  despair  were  supreme,  and 
each  man's  thought  was  now  for  his  own  safety :  the 
militia  were  useless  against  a  great  army,  and  all 
Spain  outside  of  Cadiz  was  cheering  for  the  absolute 
King.  Ineffectual  attempts  at  sorties  were  made,  in 
which  many  poor  young  militiamen  gallantly  threw 
away  their  lives  for  a  lost  cause,  but  all  around  Cadiz 
Bay,  from  Rota  to  Carracas,  French  cannon  thundered 
salutes  to  a  French  fleet  in  the  offing  ;  the  Trocadero 
was  in  the  hands  of  the  invader  (August  31st),  the 
King  was  in  constant  communication  with  his  dear 
cousin  Angouleme  ;  and  it  was  obvious  to  all  that 
the  captive  Fernando  held  the  winning  hand,  unless, 
indeed,  his  life  fell  a  sacrifice  to  those  whom  he 
sneered  at  (in  secret)  as  the  "  so-called  Government " 
and  "  the  revolutionary  rabble." 

Desperate  attempts  were  made  once  more  by  the 
Government  to  obtain  the  mediation  of  Great 
Britain  ;  but  Angouleme  and  the  French  Govern- 
ment would  not  hear  of  it.  Fernando,  in  the 
meanwhile,  ostentatiously  refused  to  accept  any 
responsibility,  or  to  read  any  communication,  except 
those  which  passed  through  the  hands  of  his  distressed 
and  despairing  ministers,  although  it  was  known  that 
he  had  private  means  of  corresponding  with  the 
invaders.  Only  twice  during  his  three  months'  stay 
in  Cadiz  did  Fernando  show  himself  in  public  in 
the  streets,  surrounded  on  each  occasion  by  men  of 
the  Madrid  militia,  as  if  to  emphasise  his  captivity 


One  by  one  the  forts  defending  Cadiz  fell,  and  on  the 
2 1  St  of  September  Santi  Petri,  the  last  of  the  defences, 
surrendered  to  the  invader.  On  the  23rd,  at  day- 
break, the  French  fleet  approached  and  poured  a 
deadly  bombardment  at  short  range  on  to  the  city, 
and  for  the  first  time  the  light-hearted  Gaditanos 
realised  that  the  affair  was  of  importance  to  every 
citizen  who  had  a  home  which  a  projectile  might 
bring  clattering  down  upon  his  head.  The  militiamen 
on  the  walls  made  as  good  a  fight  as  could  have 
been  expected,  and  Fernando  was  an  interested  spec- 
tator of  the  scene  from  his  observatory  on  the  top  of 
the  Custom  House,  certain  that  his  French  friends 
would  not  send  a  bomb  in  his  direction.  But  it  was 
seen  that  no  real  resistance  could  be  offered,  and  by 
midday  the  firing  ceased.  Angouleme  would  have 
nothing  to  say  to  the  Government,  but  treated  direct 
with  the  King,  and  at  length,  after  desperate  struggles 
to  make  conditions,  the  Cortes  and  the  Government 
were  forced  to  concede  to  the  sovereign  full  libert}' 
of  action. 

It  was  indeed  time,  for  the  troops  inside  Cadiz 
and  on  the  island  were  already  crying  ''  Viva  el 
Rey  absoluto!"  and  were  more  inclined  to  join  the 
French  than  resist  them,  whilst  the  Government  and 
the  Cortes  were  respectively  endeavouring  to  throw 
the  responsibility  of  events  upon  each  other.  Fer- 
nando had  played  his  cards  with  profound  cunning. 
He  knew  that  his  life  might  be  sacrificed  at  any 
moment,  until  the  impotence  of  the  Liberal  rulers  had 
come  home  to  them  all,  and  he  had  maintained  an 
impenetrable    reserve   with    the    ministers    who   held 



him  in  duress.     Over  and  over  again  Yandola  and 
Luyando,    two    of    the     ministers,    endeavoured    to 
extract   bmding  pledges  from    him,  but   whilst  pro- 
mismg  vaguely,  enough  to  ensure  hope  to  the  Liberals 
and   consequently  safety  to  himself,  he  had  artfully 
avoided   giving   a   definite  pledge.     On  the  i6th  of 
September  Luyando    asked  him    point    blank    three 
questions-Would  he  grant  a  general  act  of  oblivion 
for  the  past  ?  to  which  Fernando  replied  that  he  was 
much  surprised  that  any  one  should  doubt  his  gene- 
rosity.   Would  he  grant  a  representative  Government 
to  Spain  ?  asked  Luyando  ;  but  upon  this  point  the 
Kmg  would  give  no  definite  answer.     He  must,  he 
said,    first    be    put    at    liberty  in    Madrid    before'  he 
answered   that.      And    to    the    third   question    as    to 
whether  he  would  trust  himself  in  the  hands  of  the 
French,  he  said  that  that  his  ministers  must  decide. 
Luyando  declaimed  a   good  deal  about  the  sinister 
objects  of  the  Holy  Alliance  and  the  prophecies  of 
Daniel ;  but  Fernando  was   more  than  a  match  for 
him,  and  he  could  extract  no  more  from  the  Kin^ 
than  this. 

When  surrender  was  inevitable,  on  the  25th  of 
September  another  attempt  to  exact  conditions 
was  made  by  the  ministers.  This  time  the  King 
went  further  with  regard  to  the  first  point,  and  posi- 
tively promised  an  act  of  oblivion.  But  to  the  prayer 
that  he  would  gratify  the  nation  by  promising  a 
representative  government,  he  replied  :  "  Perhaps  you 
think  that  Cadiz  is  the  whole  nation."  Here  he  stood 
firm  ;  and  finally  the  Liberals  had  to  content  them- 
selves  with  the  concession   of  the   King's  liberty  of 


action  on  his  pledge  only  of  oblivion  for  the  past. 
But  when  all  was  ready  (September  29th)  for  Fer- 
nando to  embark  to  join  Angouleme  on  the  other 
side  of  the  Bay  at  Port  St.  Mary,  the  Government 
decided  to  send  General  Alava  to  settle  terms  with 
the  French  prince  before  they  let  the  King  go,  for 
they  had  no  guarantee  but  his  bare  word.  Deeply 
disappointed,  Fernando  writes  in  his  diary :  "  Now 
that  Angouleme  is  waiting  dinner  for  me,  and  I  had 
written  to  him  that  I  was  free,  I  see  clearly  that  I  am 
as  far  as  ever  from  breaking  my  chains.  Thus  God 
ordains  that  our  patience  should  be  tried ! "  But 
Angouleme  would  have  nothing  to  say  to  any  one  but 
the  King ;  and  on  the  last  day  of  September  the 
ministers  brought  to  Fernando  their  own  dismissals, 
and  they  and  the  permanent  Commission  of  Cortes 
kissed  the  smiling  monarch's  hand  and  bade  him 

With  all  ceremony  and  splendour,  but  in  gloomy 
silence,  the  King  stepped  into  his  launch  at  Cadiz,  on 
the  1st  of  October,  and  an  hour  afterwards  he  threw 
himself  into  the  arms  of  Angouleme  at  Port  St. 
Mary's,  a  free  man.  The  following  words  in  his 
diary  record  his  own  feelings  at  his  deliverance : 
"  Wednesday,  October  I. — A  happy  day  for  me,  for 
my  family,  and  the  whole  nation,  for  from  this 
moment  we  have  recovered  our  ardently  desired 
liberty,  after  three  years  six  months  and  twenty  days 
of  the  most  ignominious  slavery,  in  which  I  have 
been  held  by  a  handful  of  conspirators  for  their  own 
ends,  and  of  obscure  ambitious  soldiers,  unable  even 
to  write  their  own  names,  who  posed  as  regenerators 


of  Spain,  which  they  subjected  to  laws  most  calcu- 
lated to  secure  their  sinister  objects,  and  make  their 
fortunes,  whilst  they  destroyed  the  nation.  Let  us, 
then,  give  infinite  thanks  to  the  Almighty  for  the 
great  mercy  He  has  shown  to  us,  and  let  us  never 
doubt  His  incomprehensible  power,  and  His  watch- 
fulness over  Spain." 

Fernando's  last  act  before  embarking  had  been 
to  sign  a  manifesto  drawn  up  by  the  ministers, 
promising  the  act  of  oblivion  and  pardon,  "com- 
plete and  absolute  without  any  exception  whatever," 
and  the  confirmation  of  all  offices,  ranks,  and  con- 
cessions, granted  by  the  constitutional  Government. 
It  was  asserted,  indeed,  that  he  spontaneously 
strengthened  the  promise  by  the  addition  of  some 
words  in  his  own  hand  ;  but  within  three  hours  of 
his  landing  at  Port  St.  Mary  he  issued  his  iniquitous 
decree  which  was  to  avenge  the  humiliations  to 
which  he  had  been  subjected  for  over  three  years. 
"  The  most  criminal  treason,  the  most  shameful 
cowardice,  the  most  horrible  disaster  to  my  royal 
person,  and  the  most  irrestrainable  violence,  have 
been  employed  to  change  the  paternal  Government 
of  my  realms  to  a  democracy,  which  has  proved  the 
origin  of  endless  misfortunes."  In  this  strain  the 
decree  goes  on  to  denounce  the  Constitution  and  all 
its  effects  ;  and  ends  by  nullifying,  utterly,  every  act  of 
government  done  since  March  7,  1820,  and  approving 
the  actions  of  Angouleme's  Regency. 

Thus  Fernando  broke  all  his  promises.  Scores  of 
times  since  he  had  taken  the  oath  in  1820  he  had, 
with  apparent  sincerity,  professed  the  most  extrava- 


gant  attachment  to,  and  belief  in,  the  constitutional 
Government ;  only  the  day  before  he  had  solemnly 
promised  oblivion  and  forgiveness  for  the  past.  The 
Liberals  saw  that  this  new  decree  meant  exile,  the 
dungeon,  or  the  gallows  for  them,  and  so  it  proved.' 
From  that  moment  to  the  death  of  Fernando  there 
was  hardly  a  truce  to  the  reactionary  excesses  of  a 
besotted  despotism,  for  the  King's  vengeance  knew 
no  satiety. 

Fernando  VII.  arrived  in  Madrid  on  the  13th  of 
November,  and  no  words  could  describe  better  than 
his  own  the  change  that  had  taken  place.  "  We  came 
back,"  he  writes,  "  by  the  same  road  as  that  by  which 
we  went,  but  oh  !  how  different  is  the  aspect  of  a 
nation  when  it  is  moved  by  the  real  sentiment  of  its 
heart.  It  is  impossible  to  describe  the  excess  of  joy, 
the  delirium  of  the  people,  at  seeing  us  free  from  our 
slavery.  This,  indeed,  is  the  true  people,  and  not 
those  wretches  whom  the  revolutionaries  paid  to  serve 
as  an  excuse  or  a  support,  as  best  suited  their  ends." 
"  From  all  quarters  came  the  multitudes,"  continues 
the  King,  "  some  of  the  people  from  fifty  leagues  off, 
to  cheer  us,  triumphal  cars,  flowers  and  crowns,  flags 
and  joy  bells,  greeted  us  everywhere." 

'  Louis  XVIII.  and  Chateaubriand  expostulated  and  protested  in  vain 
against  the  iniquitous  persecution  of  the  Liberals,  which  they  attributed 
to  the  priest  Saez,  who  was  Fernando's  new  Minister  of  State.  Six 
hundred  persons  were  proscribed  in  Madrid  alone ;  and  even  before 
Fernando's  release,  in  the  eighteen  days  from  August  24th  to  September 
I2th  the  Regency  appointed  by  Angouleme  hanged  118  prominent 
Liberals  and  imprisoned  many  hundreds.  The  persecutions  slackened 
somewhat,  however,  when  Saez's  ministry  was  replaced  by  the  Marquis 
of  Casa  Irujo  and  more  moderate  colleagues. 


In  a  superb    triumphal    car    drawn  by    relays    of 
eager  citizens  and  royalist  volunteers,  Fernando  passed 
from  the  monastery  of  the  Atocha  to  the  palace  of  his 
forefathers  in  a  tornado  of  enthusiasm,  greeted  by  the 
odes  of  scores  of  poets  and  the  paeans  of  innumerable 
musicians.     What  mattered  it  that  the  servile  crowd 
who  abased  themselves  before  the  lying  despot,  had 
only  a  year  or  two  ago  gone  into  convulsions  of  adu- 
lation over  poor  Riego  ?     The  same  brutal  mob  had 
purged  their  offence  a  week  before  the  King's  entry 
by  mocking  and  loading  with  contumely  their  former 
hero,  whilst  he  was  being  dragged  in  a  basket  at  an 
ass's  tail  to  be  hanged  and  quartered  as  a  felon  in  the 
Plaza  de   la  Cebada.     Thus  fell  the  Constitution  of 
Cadiz,  and  once  more  was  the  axiom  proved  true  that 
a  people  always  in  the  end  obtains  the  government  it 
deserves.    The  well-meaning  theorists  who  attempted 
to  raise  their  country  from  the  dark  superstition  and 
grovelling  subjection  of  centuries  at  one  bound  to  the 
full  light  of  freedom,  paid  in  many  cases  with  their 
fortunes,  liberties,  and  lives  for  their  political  enthu- 
siasm, and  the  nation  at  large  was  plunged  once  more 
into  an  obsolete  system  of  government  which  cramped 
its    development    and    blighted    its    progress.     The 
violent  and  imprudent  advance  of  18 12  was  followed 
naturally  by  equally  violent  reaction  ;   in  its  turn  to 
be  succeeded  by  the  rough  rebound  and  the  alternate 
oscillations  which  have  since  consummated  the  ruin 
of  a  country  possessing  all  the  elements  of  happiness 
and    prosperity.     As    for    Fernando,    he    had    learnt 
nothing    from    his    suffering    and    experience.     His 
fathers  had  been  absolute,  and  he  would  be  absolute 


too.  So  all  the  old  abuses  were  re-enacted  ;  the  friars, 
the  tithes,  and  the  entails  came  back,  the  Spaniards 
became  "  dear  vassals "  again  and  gloried  in  the 
name,  and  every  market-place  in  the  land  changed  its 
name  once  more  from  Plaza  de  la  Constitucion  to 
Plaza  Mayor,  whilst  such  "  Spanish  patriots  "  as  had 
escaped  the  gallows  sought  freedom,  refuge,  and 
safety  in  England  and  America. 



The  entire  revolution  of  the  financial  system  of 
Spain   three   times  within  ten  years  had  completely 
demoralised  both  the  taxpayer  and  the  treasury,  and 
matters  in  this  respect  had  gone  from  bad  to  worse 
with  each  succeeding  change.     The  confiscation  and 
restoration  of  the  conventual  and  Inquisition  property 
and  other  national  assets,  had   taken   place  so  often 
that,  when  the  reformers  endeavoured   to  sell   it,  as 
decreed,  to  cancel  gradually  the  non-interest  bearing 
floating  debt,  and  to  meet  the  service  of  the  old  con- 
solidated debt  upon  which  interest  was  payable,  very 
few  purchasers  could  be  found.     The  anarchy  which 
reigned    over    Spain    made   it    almost  impossible  to 
collect    the    ordinary    revenue,    and    the    optimistic 
estimates     presented     by     the     successive      finance 
ministers  were  in  every  case  ludicrously  wide  of  the 
mark.     It    always    has    been,    and    still    remains,    a 
characteristic    of    Spanish    finance    to    assume   that 
budget  deficits  can  be  met  by  reducing  expenditure 
to    a    point  which  has  never  been   possible   in    any 

previous  year,  and  in  this  fool's  paradise  Fernando's 




ministers  had  still  dwelt.  It  was  found  in  the 
estimates  for  1822-23  that  the  annual  deficit  on 
general  revenue  reached  ^2,700,000.  Sweeping  re- 
ductions had  already  been  made  by  the  Cortes  in 
the  expenditure,  but  yet  it  was  assumed  that  this  vast 
deficit  could  be  met  by  further  economies.  So  far 
from  this  being  the  case,  the  expenditure  of  the  year 
was  larger  than  ever,  whilst  the  revenue  fell  immensely 
short  of  the  estimate,  as  practically  no  taxes  were 
received  from  Cataluna  and  Navarre.  It  may  be 
interesting  to  set  forth  at  length  the  details  of 
revenue  for  1822-23,  to  show  the  sources  of  taxation 
upon  which  the  Constitutionists  depended  : 

Land  Tax    ... 


150  1 

million  reals 

Tax  on  Clergy 



Arrears  of  Tithes  . . . 




House  Tax 

.. . 



Trade  Licenses 








Tobacco,   Salt,   and 







i  1 

Registration  Dues  ... 



9  » 

Church  Bulls 





. . . 



Post  Office 

. . . 



First-fruits  of  Public  Offices 




To  which  must  be  added  cost  of  collection     ., 
Making  a  total  estimated  sum  to  be  collected 

=  ;^5>70o,ooo 

;if  6,900,000 

The  estimated  expenditure  for  the  year  amounted 
to  ;^8,400,ooo,  leaving  a  deficit  for  the  year  of 
^2,700,000.       There  was  also  an  outstanding  deficit 

250  DESPOTISM.       . 

of  i:2,ooo,ooo  for  the  previous  year ;  and  instead  of 
the  above  estimate  of  revenue  for  1823  being  fulfilled, 
the  actual  amount  received  in  the  year  was  ^1,700,000 
less,  the  accumulated  deficits  at  the  end  of  the  year 
thus  reaching  i:6,400,ooo,  in  addition  to  the  increased 
expenditure  of  the  year,  and  the  vicious  system  of 
fresh  borrowing  to  cover  current  expenditure  was 
again  resorted  to. 

Nor  had   the  three  successive  periods  of  war,  re- 
action, and  anarchy  since  1808  been  less  disastrous  to 
the  country  in  its  social,  aesthetic,  and  industrial  aspects. 
Joseph  Bonaparte  had  made  some  attempt  at  improv- 
ing and  cleansing  the  streets  of  his  capital,  but  at  the 
time  of  his  last  exodus  little  had  been  done  but  to  clear 
spaces  by  demolition.     During  the  period  of  reaction, 
on  the  return  of  Fernando  until    1820,  utter  paralysis 
prevailed.     The  friars  had  come  back,  and  the  towns 
were  still  encumbered  by  the  gloomy  religious  edifices, 
of  which  there  were  sixty  in  Madrid  alone  ;  and  large 
numbers  of  the  houses  remained  in  the  possession  of 
ecclesiastical  foundations,  or  were  tied  up  in  perpetual 
entail,  so  that  the  ordinary  domestic  buildings  were 
usually    mean    and    dilapidated.      Life   was   almost 
as  slow  in    this  early  nineteenth  century  as  it  had 
been  in  the  sixteenth  ;  few  people  travelled,  or  even 
stirred  from  the  populous  centres  of  the  towns  unless 
they   were    compelled;    the   roads  were    notoriously 
unsafe  after  dark,  and   most  of  the  intellectual  and 
literary  societies  which  had  arisen  under  Charles  III., 
and  even  under  Godoy,  were  frowned  at  askance  after 
the  restoration  of  Fernando.     For  a  short  time  durino- 
the  life  of  Fernando's  second  wife,  Isabel  of  Braganza, 


some  small  artistic  and  architectural  movement  was 
perceptible  through  her  influence,  but  it  hardly  out- 
lived her,  except  the  establishment  of  the  National 
Picture  Gallery. 

Indeed,  with  literature  almost  dead,  journalism 
confined  in  the  capital  to  two  official  papers,  with 
a  rigid  censorship  of  the  printing  press  in  all  forms, 
and  most  men  of  learning  and  enlightenment  in 
prison  or  banishment,  it  may  be  said  that  this  period 
from  1 8 14  to  1820  presents  the  most  hopeless  blank 
in  the  history  of  Spanish  progress.  One  art,  and 
one  only,  in  this  period  gave  signs  of  vitality.  In 
times  of  the  greatest  despotism,  under  the  Austrian 
kings,  when  the  exercise  of  the  intellect  was  most 
severely  handicapped,  the  stage  had  been  almost 
the  only  form  in  which  Spanish  genius  had  found 
full  scope.  This  was  again  the  case  in  the  period 
of  reaction  now  under  review.  It  is  true  that 
no  great  dramatist  arose  to  give  new  masterpieces, 
although  Moratin  still  lived  and  wrote  ;  but  one  of 
the  most  consummate  actors  that  ever  lived,  the  pupil 
of  Talma,  but  better  than  his  master,  Isidro  Maiquez, 
did  for  the  Spanish  stage  at  this  period  what  Garrick 
had  done  for  England.  Old  false  traditions  were 
banished,  and  gave  way  to  naturalness,  reason,  and 
good  taste ;  scenery,  dresses,  and  stagecraft  were 
reformed,  and  texts  were  purified.  Constantly  watched 
by  a  jealous  government,  and  not  infrequently  pro- 
scribed and  banished,  as  Maiquez  was,  with  an  absurd 
censorship  prohibiting  some  of  the  finest  dramatic 
works  of  Spanish  masters,  the  grand  actor  nevertheless 
introduced    to    his    entranced    public    the    classical 


tragedies  of  Shakspeare,  Racine,  and  Alfieri,  as  well  as 
such  native  plays  of  high  merit  as  were  not  forbidden. 
Tragedy  and  comedy  were  equally  attractive  in  his 
hands,  and  never  before  or  since  has  the  Spanish 
stage  possessed  such  an  ornament.  The  foolish 
cTovernment  of  Fernando  limited  his  repertoire,  perse- 
cuted him  for  his  popularity,  and  at  last  worried  him 
into  his  grave  (i8i8),  but  he  it  was  who  gave  to  this 
black  period  of  the  reaction  the   only  bright  spot  it 


Commerce  and  industry,  saddled  anew  with  crush- 
in-  burdens  on  the  return  of  Fernando,  were  unable 
to^'re-establish  themselves  after  the  great  war,  whilst 
the  revolt  of  the  American  Colonies  completed  the 
ruin  by  depriving  the  languishing  manufacturers  of 
the  only  protected  market  they  possessed.     Looked 
at  from  any  point  of  view,  therefore,  the  position  of 
the  nation  was  gloomy  in  the  extreme,  and  the  hopes 
of  an  enormous  rebound  in  material  prosperity  after 
the  o-reat  national  struggle  against  the  invader,  and 
under   a   more  enlightened    system  of  government 
were    utterly    dashed  by    the    stolid    obstinacy    of 
Fernando  in  ignoring  everything  that  had  happened 
in  Spain  from  1 808  to  1 8 14. 

The  constitutional  period  from  1820  to  1823, 
unfortunately,  spent  most  of  its  energy  and  impetus 
in  oratory  and  polemics,  but  still  some  attempt  was 
made  in  these  four  years  to  improve  the  condition  of 
the  country.  Under  Government  subsidies  regular 
dilio-ences  were  re-established  on  the  principal  high- 
roads, the  shifting  of  the  greater  burden  of  taxation 
on  to  the  Church  and  the  landed  classes,  to  the  relief 


of  trade,  once  more  encouraged  the  foundation  of  a 
{itw  new  manufactories  ;  a  Board  of  Public  Instruction 
was  established,  with  the  enlightened  writer  Ouintana 
as  its  president,  to  reform  the  system  of  teaching  in 
the  public  schools :  the  National  Academy, in  imitation 
of  the  French  Institute,  was  founded,  and  scientific 
and  literary  institutions  again  raised  their  heads  under 
the  encouragement  of  the  constitutional  Government. 
The  theatre,  too,  freed  from  the  blighting  censorship 
which  had  killed  Maiquez,  again  presented  the 
masterpieces  of  Spanish  dramatic  art,  whilst  Martinez 
de  la  Rosa,  Angel  Saavedra  (Duke  of  Rivas),  Quin- 
tana,  and  Solis,  freed  from  their  dungeons  or  their 
exile,  added  to  the  Spanish  stage — in  the  intervals 
of  their  less  productive  political  activity — dramatic 
works  worthy  of  their  great  predecessors.  But  this 
was  all,  for  during  the  constitutional  period,  as  has 
already  been  related,  public  excitement,  sporadic 
anarchy,  and  political  eloquence  had  left  but  little 
leisure  or  energy  for  other  interests  ;  nor  had  the 
instability  of  institutions  encouraged  to  any  great 
extent  the  promotion  of  schemes  for  the  material 
improvement  of  the  country.  The  reign  of  Fernando, 
from  his  accession  in  1808  to  the  final  fall  of  the 
Constitution  in  1823,  may  indeed  be  summed  up  in 
three  periods  thus:  From  1808  to  the  King's  return  in 
i8i4,six  and  a  half  yearsof  exalted  ideals  and  patriotic 
struggle  ;  from  181 5  to  1820,  six  years  of  despairing 
apathy  ;  and  from  1821  to  1823,  three  years  of  feverish 
but  fruitless  effort. 

The  results  of  Fernando's  government  had  been  no 
less  disastrous  in  America  than  in  the  mother  country. 



The   Spanish  Colonies,   from   the    first  .day  of  their 
settlement,  had    been    treated    solely  as    possessions 
for    the    production    of    revenue    which    might    be 
squandered  by  courtiers  and  politicians  in  Spain.    The 
interests  of  the  Colonists  and  of  the  countries  them- 
selves   had    been    treated   with    absolute    disregard, 
except  for  a  short  experimental  period  in  the  reign  of 
Charles   III.,  and   again  when   representation  in  the 
national  Cortes  was  granted  by  the  Government  of 
Cadiz  in   1812.     The  long  Peninsular  war,  however, 
and  the  state  of  anarchy  which  accompanied  it,  gave 
to  the    native-born   Spanish   Creoles  an    opportunity 
for  shaking  off  a  connection  from  which  they  gained 
nothing   and    sacrificed    much.       On    the    return    of 
Fernando  in  18 14  several  of  the  American  Colonies, 
especially  Venezuela,  Buenos  Ayres,  Chile,  and  New 
Granada  were  independent  in  all  but  name,  and  soon 
became  so  even  in  this  respect,  and  throughout  the 
rest  of  the  continent  the  Spanish  Viceroys  were  only 
able  with  the  greatest  difficulty  to  exact  a  local  and 
limited  obedience. 

A  prudent  government  would  have  seen  in  such 
circumstances  the  material  impossibility  of  holding 
by  force  these  vast  and  distant  possessions,  and 
would  have  made  such  terms  as  were  possible,  to 
conserve  at  least  a  nominal  connection  and  some 
preferential  treatment  in  the  matter  of  trade. 
Fernando  and  his  absolutist  friends,  however,  refused 
to  acknowledge  indisputable  facts  and  determined 
to  reconquer,  if  possible,  the  whole  Colonial  empire 
by  force  and  terror.  It  was  too  late,  for  the 
Americans  had  proved  the  weakness  of  the  mother 


country,  exhausted  as  it  was  by  internal  conflict 
and  a  long  war.  In  Mexico  the  revolt  had  not 
been  so  strong  as  elsewhere  and  had  been  domi- 
nated, and  at  the  time  of  Fernando's  restoration  the 
Viceroyalty  was  for  the  most  part  apparently  loyal  to 
Spain.  It  is  possible  that  this  colony  might  have  been 
saved  for  a  time  but  for  the  incredible  folly  of  the 
King  and  his  advisers,  who  instead  of  conciliating  the 
Mexicans  went  to  the  length  of  decreeing  the  re- 
establishment  of  the  Inquisition,  and  a  return  of  the 
antique  despotism  which  the  Cortes  of  Cadiz  had 
wisely  abolished.  This  was  too  much,  and  the  insur- 
rection spread  until  it  became  irresistible.  In  vain 
Fernando  still  further  depleted  his  shrunken  treasury 
and  sacrificed  his  unwilling  soldiers  by  repeated 
attempts  to  reconquer  his  lost  provinces.  We  have 
seen  that  his  supreme  effort  in  1820  ended  in  the 
revolt  of  the  army  and  the  proclamation  of  the  Con- 
stitution, and  as  a  result  all  that  was  left  to  Spain  on 
the  American  mainland  in  1823  was  the  Castle  of  San 
Juan  de  Ulua  in  Mexico  and  some  shadow  of  power 
in  Peru. 

Fernando  still  looked  to  the  European  monarchies 
to  save  to  him  his  American  domains  ;  but  his  furious 
reactionary  policy  on  his  rescue  by  Angouleme  in 
1823-24  alienated  even  his  friends;  whilst  it  con- 
vinced Great  Britain  that  from  him  no  enlightenment, 
no  reform,  and  no  expansion  of  trade  could  be 
expected.  The  unity  of  the  forces  of  reaction  in 
Europe  under  the  Holy  Alliance  was  a  standing 
menace  to  England ;  and  in  these  circumstances 
Canning,    as    he    himself    phrased    it,    called    a    new 


world  into  existence  to  redress  the  balance  of 
the  old.  On  the  ist  of  January,  1825,  England 
recognised — as  the  United  States  had  already  done 
— the  independence  of  the  South  American  Republics. 
The  Spanish  forces  in  Peru  still  held  out,  but  Bolivar 
and  Cochrane  were  now  free  to  help  the  Peruvians, 
and  at  the  battle  of  Ayacucho  (December,  1824)  the 
Spaniards  were  beaten  and  forced  to  surrender  ;  the 
continent  of  South  America  thus  breaking  the  last 
link  that  bound  it  to  the  despotic  and  obscurantist 
government  of  Fernando  VII. 

Modern  civilisation  has  seen  no  such  instance  of 
brutal,  blind  ferocity  as  that  which  followed  the 
arrival  of  Fernando  in  Madrid.  There  was  neither 
justice  nor  mercy  in  the  government  of  the  besotted 
churchmen  who  surrounded  the  King.  The  gallows 
was  the  sole  instrument  and  argument  by  which  they 
ruled  ;  they  prayed  for  the  restoration  of  the  Inquisi- 
tion, though  that  Fernando  dared  not  grant.  The 
frenzy  of  intolerance  and  cruelty  spread  from  the 
preaching  friars  and  ignorant  nobles  to  the  brutal 
mob.  It  was  sufficient  for  a  person  to  have  belonged 
to  the  militia,  or  even  to  be  related  to  a  known 
Liberal,  for  the  most  inhuman  tortures  to  be  inflicted 
upon  him  by  the  unrestrained  populace ;  and  in 
many  cases  even  women  were  subjected  to  dis- 
graceful treatment  by  the  mob  and  the  royalist 
volunteers.  The  authorities,  far  from  discouraging, 
smiled  upon  the  brutal  orgies  of  these  supporters  of 
despotism.  The  prisons  were  so  full,  and  the 
ordinary  tribunals  so  busy,  that  impromptu  courts- 
martial  were  established  in  all  the  provincial  capitals, 


which  untrammelled  by  legal  procedure  or  traditions, 
condemned  almost  unheard  multitudes  of  good 
citizens  whose  only  crime  was  a  belief  in  the  repre- 
sentative government.  It  is  a  lamentable  truth  that 
much  of  the  atrocity  of  this  persecution  was  owing  to 
the  influence  of  the  friars  and  the  Church.  A  hideous 
ecclesiastical  society,  founded  by  the  Bishop  of  Osma, 
called  "  The  Exterminating  Angel,"  which  spread  its 
ramifications  all  over  Spain  organised  vengeance 
upon  Liberals  ;  every  pulpit,  every  monastery,  every 
royalist  club  was  a  centre  of  persecution.  The 
only  two  newspapers  now  allowed  to  be  published 
— the  Gazette  and  the  Restorer — hounded  on  the 
furious  hosts  of  ignorance  to  further  acts  of  cruelty  ; 
whilst  the  servile  crowd  who  gloried  in  their  slavery 
received  the  smiling  sovereign  when  he  appeared  in 
his  capital  with  cries  of  "  Hurrah  for  despotism  and 
chains  ;  death  to  Liberty  !  " 

The  greatest  of  the  guerrilla  chiefs  who  had 
fought  the  French  was  the  chivalrous  Empecinado — 
a  mere  peasant  named  Juan  Martin,  but  a  born 
commander  of  men.  On  Fernando's  return  from 
France  the  Empecinado's  immense  services  to  the 
country  had  been  rewarded  by  close  imprisonment, 
until  the  revolt  of  Riego  set  him  free.  When 
the  Constitution  fell  the  Empecinado  escaped  to 
Portugal,  but  was  captured  near  the  frontier  at  the 
same  time  as  Fernando  entered  Madrid  (November, 
1823).  He  was  kept  by  the  local  authorities  at  Roa 
for  the  next  ten  months,  suffering  the  most  revolting 
tortures  in  prison,  being  brought  out  every  market- 
day  in  an  iron  cage  to  be  exposed  to  the  insults  of 



the    crowd.      For  four   days  at  a  time  he  was  kept 
without  food  or  drink,  confined  in  one  position  ;  and 
his  prayers  that  he  should  promptly  be  put  out  of  his 
misery  only  brought  upon  him  fresh  persecution.     In 
vain  the  English  ambassador  protested  to  the  King 
against  such  inhumanity,    the   Empecinado   refused 
to  acknowledge  any  crime  or  beg  for  mercy,  as  he  had 
formerly  refused  the  bribe  of  a  peerage  to  desert  the 
Constitution,  and  he  was  at  length  condemned  to  the 
gallows.     He  was  calm  and  dignified  almost  to  the 
last ;  but  on  his  way  to  the  scaffold  he  was  driven  to 
sudden    fury   by    seeing    one    of    his    persecutors,    a 
royalist  volunteer  officer,  flourishing  the  famous  sword 
which   he,  the    Empecinado,  had    borne    throughout 
the  war.    With  a  prodigious  effort  he  burst  his  fetters 
and   scattered   those  who  held  him  captive  ;  but  he 
tripped  over  the  shroud  in  which  he  was  clothed,  and, 
fighting  furiously  to  the  last,  this,  one  of  the  greatest 
heroes  of  Spanish  independence,  was  dragged  by  the 
neck  until  he  was  dead,  and  the  last  insults  might  be 
offered  to  his  corpse  with  impunity. 

But  there  were  degrees  even  in  this  saturnalia  of 
reaction.     The   Holy   Alliance,  through  the  Russian 
ambassador,  Pozzi  di  Borgo,  gravely  warned  Fernando 
of  the  probable  consequences  of  such  a  policy  as  this  ; 
and  the  King,  from  prudential  motives,  gave  Father 
Saez  an  Archbishopric,  and  appointed  a  rather  more 
moderate    minister    under    Casa   Irujo  ;    a   so-called 
amnesty  being  published  (May  i,  1824)  which  con- 
tained so  many  exceptions  as  to  amount  to  a  confirma- 
tion of  the  persecution.     But  small  as  this  concession 
was,  it  split  the  party  of  reaction.    Fernando's  brother 

y    H  liniitiiilf  la  I'.iinifiri  If  .vm  lit/fnir.';  Esir  Ir  til'r'rfntr  twi^*' 
II  m  ni'irliil  fiteimifi),  if  /«•■  Krf/,i/hi/-:r  iiiui  .rt\  in-nitw  lit-  / 



Carlos    and    his  wife,  Maria  Francisca  of  Braganza, 
had  ever  since  the  restoration  been  conspicuous  for 
their  ostentatious  piety  and  attachment  to  the  Church. 
They   were    now   adopted    by  the    society    of  "The 
Exterminating  Angel,"  and  the  more  bigoted   of  the 
friars,  as  leaders  of  the  party  of  extreme  reaction  and 
resistance  of  all  moderation.     Fernando  did  his  best 
to  convince  this  party  that  his  real  sympathies  were 
on  its  side,  as  they  doubtless   were.     All   the   most 
violent  reactionists  were  rewarded  lavishly  ;  titles  of 
nobility,  such  as  Marquis  of  Loyalty,  of  Fidelity,  of 
Constancy,  of  Royal  Appreciation,  and  the  like,  were 
given  to  men  who  had  been  conspicuous  in  their  per- 
secution  of  Liberals  ;   but,  withal,  the   fanaticism  of 
Don  Carlos  was  more  to  the  liking  of  the  extremists 
than  the  enforced  prudence  of  the  King,  and  around 
the  heir-presumptive  and  his    irascible  wife   all   the 
elements  of  uncompromising  reaction  were    thence- 
forward grouped. 

After  a  few  weeks  of  office  the  new  minister,  Casa 
Irujo,   died   (January,   1824),  and   was  succeeded   by 
Count  de  Ofalia,  whose  place  as  Minister  of  Justice 
was   filled   by   that   Francisco    Tadeo    Calomarde  of 
whom   we  last  heard  as  Secretary    to   the   Regency 
appointed  by  Angouleme  in  Madrid.    Calomarde  was 
a  humble  lawyer  who  had  sprung  from  menial  service, 
and    without   possessing    special    talent   was    supple, 
unscrupulous,   and   ambitious.     He  had  changed  his 
coat  several  times,  and  at  this  period  was  considered 
an    extreme   reactionist  ;  but   he   succeeded    thence- 
forward in  establishing  a  complete  dominion  over  the 
KincT,  which  he  maintained  until  Fernando  died.    His 



262        ,  Despotism. 

secret  of  success  was  to  guess,  if  possible,  the  King's 
view  of  affairs  and  then  present  it  as  his  own.  Know- 
ing, as  he  did,  that  Fernando's  plan  was  to  balance  the 
extreme  party  against  the  moderates,  he  organised 
a  complete  system  of  domestic  espionage,  which 
enabled  him  to  keep  the  King  informed  of  the  secret 
actions  of  all  men  ;  and  as  he  himself  was  known  to 
belong  really  to  Don  Carlos's  party,  he  was  in  a 
position  to  advise  Fernando  how  far  he  might  go  on 
the  side  of  moderation  to  please  the  allied  Powers 
without  quite  alienating  the  elements  of  "aposto- 
Hcism  "  in  Spain. 

The  French  Government  looked  upon  Fernando's 
proceedings    with    undisguised    annoyance.       It    was 
seen  that  such  a  brutal  reaction  as  this  would  end  in 
rendering  unpopular  all  those  who  had  been  instru- 
mental in  bringing  it  about,  and  Louis  XVIII.  passed 
from  persuasions  to  threats  ;  and  more  than  once  the 
French  Commander-in-chief  in  Spain,  Bourmont,  was 
angrily  blamed  by  his  master  and  Chateaubriand  for 
not  putting  an  end  to  such  a  regime  by  force,  which 
he  doubtless  would  have  done  had  he  been  less  of  a 
reactionary  himself.     Fernando  gave  way  to  all  the 
demands  of  France,  so  far  as  regarded  the  payment 
of  their  expenses  of  the  war,   the   mediation  of  the 
French    Government    in    the   matter  of  the  revolted 
American  Colonies  and  free  trade  with  them   after- 
wards ;    but    when    it    came    to   abating  the    fury  of 
reaction   in  Spain  itself  he  could  only  go  so  far  as 
the  extremists  surrounding  Don  Carlos  would  suffer 
without  revolt.    With  the  fall  of  Chateaubriand  (July, 
1824)  one  of  the  principal  moderating  influences  dis- 

THE   ''apostolic"   PARTY.  263 

appeared,  and  the  Spanish  Prime  Minister  Ofah'a  soon 
gave  place  to  Cea  Bermudez,  whom  the  "  apostolic  " 
party  looked  upon  as  one  of  themselves. 

But  the  new  minister  had  lived  long  in  London 
as  ambassador,  and  disappointed  his  protectors  by- 
adopting  the  policy  of  what  was  called  "  enlightened 
despotism";  and  in  this  for  a  time  he  was  seconded 
from  prudential  diplomatic  motives  by  Calomarde.  An 
unsuccessful  attempt  of  a  few  refugees  from  Gibraltar 
to  effect  a  rising  (August,  1824)  soon  gave  to  the 
reactionaries  an  excuse  for  demanding  greater  severity 
against  those  who  were  suspected  of  liberalism, 
although  every  prominent  man  connected  with  the 
little  insurrection,  to  the  number  of  thirty-six,  who 
fell  into  the  hands  of  Joseph  O'Donnell  was  shot  at 
once,  and  the  rest  (lOo)  put  upon  their  trial.  The 
less  brutal  counsels  of  the  last  few  months  were 
forgotten,  and  again  the  heartless  severity  of  the 
persecution  which  followed  those  who  were  secretly 
denounced  shocked  humanity.  A  slight  word,  almost 
a  look  in  some  cases,  consigned  poor  ignorant  men 
and  boys  to  the  merciless  gallows,  and  hardly  a  town 
in  Spain  was  not  disgraced  again  by  cruelty  worthy 
of  a  Nero.  The  death  of  Louis  XVIII.  left  Fernando 
free  from  the  principal  moderating  influence  which  he 
had  to  respect,  and  thenceforward  it  was  despotism 
pure  and  simple  with  but  small  signs  of  the  "en- 
lightenment "  which  the  Prime  Minister  boasted  of 
introducing  into  it. 

With  the  aid  now  of  Calomarde,  the  ferocious 
Minister  of  War  Aymerich,  and  the  chief  of  the 
police,  Rufino    Gonzales,  a  veritable  reign  of  terror 


was  established,  in  which  domestic  espionage  was 
rendered  general,  and  almost  every  citizen  in  the 
country  was  classified  and  watched.  The  mere 
possession  of  any  books  or  papers  printed  or 
introduced  into  Spain  during  the  constitutional  period 
was  made  a  crime,  and  the  strictest  orders  were  given 
in  the  custom  houses  to  prevent  the  importation  of 
foreign  books  of  any  sort.  But,  notwithstanding  all 
this  severity  and  watchfulness,  Fernando  did  not  feel 
safe  on  his  blood-soaked  throne.  The  French  army 
had  at  his  request  delayed  their  departure  more  than 
once,  in  order  that  he  might  depend  upon  their  sup- 
port if  needful  ;  and  finally,  at  the  end  of  1824,  it  was 
agreed  between  the  two  governments  that  35,000 
French  soldiers  should  remain  in  Spain  indefinitely 
and  be  paid  by  the  over-burdened  Spanish  exchequer. 
Cea  Bermudez,  the  Prime  Minister,  cautiously  did  his 
best  to  temper  the  fury  of  the  King  and  his  advisers, 
and  Ballesteros,  the  Finance  Minister,  also  laboured 
with  some  success  to  reorganise  his  department  on 
enlightened  lines  ;  but  with  Calomarde,  Aymerich,  and 
Gonzales  near  the  King,  affairs  went  from  bad  to  worse. 
Even  private  soldiers  and  students  at  the  universities 
were  not  allowed  to  resume  their  positions  in  their 
regiments  or  classes  until  an  inquisitorial  examination 
had  proved  them  to  be  untainted  with  liberalism,  the 
police  code  was  almost  childish  in  its  violence  and 
meanness  ;  and,  to  crown  the  situation,  it  was  con- 
sidered necessary  for  Fernando  to  issue  a  special 
manifesto  (April,  1825),  in  which  he  vehemently  de- 
clared that  he  would  never  consent  to  the  slightest 
alteration  or  diminution  of  his  absolute  sovereignty, 

THE   "  EPOCH   OF   CHAPEROn!*  265 

or  allow  any  chambers  or  institutions  of  any  sort  to 
be  established  in  Spain.  The  most  furious  of  the 
persecutors  was  a  man  named  Chaperon,  President  of 
the  Military  Commission  of  Madrid,  whose  name  has 
been  adopted  by  Spaniards  as  typical  of  the  time  ; 
and  the  "  epoch  of  Chaperon  "  still  stands  for  these 
months  of  horror.  Not  even  the  most  bloodthirsty 
wretches  of  the  French  Reign  of  Terror  could  surpass 
this  man,  who  was  held  up  by  the  party  of  Don 
Carlos  as  a  model  judge,  and  who  condemned  ladies 
of  gentle  birth,  youths  and  maidens  of  tender  years, 
and  worthy  citizens  to  hard  labour  in  the  galleys,  to  the 
dungeon,  or  to  the  scaffold  on  grotesquely  insufficient 

At  length  Cea  Bermudez  frankly  told  the  King 
that  he  was  on  the  road  to  ruin,  and  even  Calomarde 
took  fright  at  the  extremes  to  which  severity  was 
carried,  and  a  change  of  policy  resulted  (June,  1825). 
Aymerich  and  the  extremists  were  dismissed,  and 
Cea  Bermudez  obtained  a  more  moderate  Minister 
of  War.  The  terrible  local  courts-martial  were 
abolished,  and,  for  a  time,  matters  assumed  a  more 
merciful  aspect.  Soon  the  violent  reactionaries  cried 
that  Fernando  was  again  being  swayed  by  the  Free- 
masons ;  and  the  turbulent  guerrilla  chief  Bessieres,  a 
Frenchman  who  had  belonged  to  all  parties,  but  was 
now  a  tool  of  the  "  apostolics,"  raised  the  banner 
of  revolt  against  moderation,  and  was  joined  by  a 
number  of  rovalist  volunteers.  But  the  regular 
troops  failed  to  join,  and  Bessieres'  backers  in  the 
Court  abandoned  him.  The  rebel  was  followed  with 
ruthless   severity   b}-  the   Count    de  Espafia,  also    a 


Frenchman  notwithstanding  his  name,  and  he  and 
his  officers  were  shot  at  the  place  where  they  were 
captured  (August,  1825).  There  is  no  doubt  that 
the  rising  of  Bessieres  was  intended  to  be  a  part  of 
a  widespread  insurrection  in  favour  of  Don  Carlos, 
but  it  was  thus  nipped  in  the  bud.  Fernando  again 
followed  his  usual  policy  of  endeavouring  to  con- 
ciliate his  brother's  party  by  renewed  persecution 
of  those  who  were  suspected  of  liberalism  ;  and  the 
gentler  methods  of  Cea  Bermudez  were  for  a  time 
obscured,  the  Prime  Minister  himself  falling  and, 
being  replaced  by  the  fanatical  Duke  of  Infantado 
in  October,  1825,  under  whom  once  more  the  hellish 
work  of  persecution  proceeded  unchecked,  until  his 
retirement  a  year  later. 

In  such  a  system  of  government  as  this  the 
liberties  and  lives  of  private  citizens  were  at  the 
mercy  of  spies  and  secret  enemies  ;  and  not  Liberals 
alone,  but  all  men  of  moderate  views  looked  aghast 
upon  a  policy  which  was  destroying  public  confidence, 
paralysing  national  progress,  and  exposing  Spain  to 
the  indignant  opprobrium  of  the  civilised  world. 
Some  of  the  most  respected  of  Spaniards  abroad,  such 
as  Flores  Estrada  in  London,  and  Javier  de  Burgos 
in  Paris,  ventured  to  remonstrate  with  Fernando, 
but  without  effect ;  and  in  January,  1826,  an  attempt 
at  armed  revolution  was  made  at  Alicante  by  Colonel 
Bazan,  who  landed  there  with  seventy  companions, 
in  the  belief  that  the  local  Liberals  would  join  him. 
But  the  persecutions  had  cowed  the  people,  and 
Bazan  and  the  whole  of  his  force  were  caught  and 


On  the  other  hand,  the  extreme  royahsts  who 
followed  Don  Carlos  affected  to  be  still  discontented 
with  what  they  looked  upon  as  Fernando's  modera- 
tion. Civil  war  was  raging  in  Portugal,  where  the 
rabid  absolutist,  Don  Miguel,  was  disputing  the 
succession  of  his  niece,  Doha  Maria,  and  a  moderate 
enlightened  limited  monarchy  under  the  aegis  of 
England.  Fernando  was,  of  course,  strongly  in 
favour  of  Miguel ;  but  he  dared  not  openly  aid  him, 
for  Spain  was  in  no  condition  to  enter  upon  a  war 
with  England;  and  the  Spanish  army  under  Sarsfield 
was  placed  on  the  Portuguese  frontier  with  orders 
to  maintain  strict  neutrality.  The  besotted  ultra- 
royalist  party,  blind  to  every  consideration  but  their 
own  fierce  bigotry,  could  be  restrained  no  longer. 
Early  in  1827  a  manifesto  of  the  "  Federation  of 
Pure  Royalists "  was  spread  broadcast  over  Spain, 
advocating  the  elevation  of  Don  Carlos  to  the  throne. 
It  suited  Calomarde  to  pretend  that  this  really 
emanated  from  the  Liberals,  and,  if  possible,  the 
persecutions  against  them  became  more  relentless 
than  ever  ;  but  in  the  face  of  events  the  pretence  had 
soon  to  be  dropped,  for  before  the  end  of  the  summer 
most  of  Cataluha  was  in  open  revolt  and  a  sort  of 
absolutist  revolutionary  government  was  established 
at  Manresa,  with  the  ostensible  object  of  liberating 
Fernando  from  the  captivity  in  which  it  was  said  he 
was  still  held  by  disguised  Liberals  and  Freemasons. 
The  friars  were  the  moving  spirits  of  this  revolt,  and 
the  name  of  Don  Carlos  was  that  under  which  they 
fought,  though  he  personally  stood  aloof 

Through  the  north  of   Spain,  in    those    countwes 



which  had  not  forgot  their  independence  from  Castile, 
and  still  yearned  for  their  old  autonomy,  Cataluna, 
Aragon,  and  Navarre,  the  insurrection  spread  rapidly, 
favoured  by  the  mountainous  character  of  the  country  ; 
and  Fernando  was  forced  to  go  personally  and  convince 
the  insurgents  that  he  was  at  liberty.  From  Tarra- 
gona he  issued  a  vigorous  manifesto  telling  the 
"  apostolics  "  that  their  methods  were  as  bad  as  those 
of  the  Liberals,  and  ridiculing  the  assertion  of  his 
captivity.  The  revolt  broke  up  immediately,  and 
although  Fernando  had  promised  pardon  to  all,  he 
broke  his  word  as  usual,  and  most  of  the  leaders 
were  shot.  In  order  to  make  things  equal  in  this 
respect  the  ferocious  Count  de  Espana,  the  Com- 
mander-in-chief in  Cataluiia,  surpassed  all  previous 
efforts,  even  in  this  bloodthirsty  reign,  in  his  heartless 
cruelty  to  those  who  were  suspected  of,  or  denounced 
for,  holding  Liberal  views.  Without  trial  or  formality 
whole  families  were  imm.ured  in  pestilential  dun- 
geons, herded  with  thieves  and  cut-throats,  on  secret 
delation  of  an  enemy  or  a  spy.  Stripped,  robbed, 
insulted  and  maltreated,  these  poor  creatures,  often 
absolutely  innocent,  were  driven  in  many  cases  to 
starvation  or  suicide,  whilst  the  rest  were  sent  in 
heart-broken  batches  to  death  in  the  African  penal 
settlements  or  were  shot,  and  afterwards  hanged  in 
rows  on  lofty  gibbets  in  the  presence  of  the  Count 
de  Espana  himself  This  was  the  high-water  mark 
of  persecution,  for  in  the  rest  of  Spain  after  the 
return  of  the  King  from  Catalufia  more  moderation 
prevailed,  now  that  the  extreme  absolutists,  as  well 
as  the  Liberals,  had  received  their  terrible  lesson. 

THE    TWO   INFANTAS.  269 

In  May,  1829,  an  event  happened  which  filled 
with  hope  the  friends  of  Don  Carlos  and  blind 
reaction.  The  faded,  colourless  little  Queen  Consort, 
Amalia  of  Saxony,  had  been  in  poor  health  for 
some  time  ;  overshadowed  by  her  two  turbulent 
and  masterful  sisters-in-law,  a  mere  cipher  in  her 
husband's  Court.  Her  death  without  children 
seemed  to  ensure  the  speedy  accession  of  Don 
Carlos  ;  for  Fernando,  although  onh'  forty-five  years 
of  age,  was  gouty  and  failing.  His  life  had  been  a 
self-indulgent  one,  and  it  was  regarded  as  in  the 
highest  degree  improbable  that  he  would  marry 
again,  or  in  any  case  that  he  would  be  blessed  with 
succession.  It  will  be  necessary  to  glance  at  the 
characters  of  the  two  women  who  at  this  juncture, 
and  during  the  next  few  years,  exerted  so  large  an 
influence  on  the  future  of  their  adopted  country,  and 
whose  intrigues  and  ambitions  have  left  so  plentiful  a 
crop  of  troubles  and  miseries  behind  them. 

Maria  Francisca  of  Braganza,  the  wife  of  Don 
Carlos,  was  a  stately  and  imperious  lad}-  of  exag- 
gerated personal  piety  and  determined  and  masculine 
aspect,  always  exercising  great  influence  on  the  King, 
who  had  been  deeply  attached  to  her  sister,  his 
second  wife.  She,  and  indeed  all  the  rest  of  the 
Court,  was  inclined  to  treat  with  some  disdain  the 
household  of  the  King's  younger  brother,  Don 
Francisco  de  Paula,  the  reputed  son  of  Godoy,  whom 
the  Constitution  of  Cadiz  at  first  excluded  from  the 
succession.  The  Infante  Francisco  bore  not  the 
slightest  resemblance  to  his  two  brothers,  who  were 
strikingly    alike  ;  he   was   a   person   of  very  inferior 



gifts,  and  had  almost  pathetically  bidden  for 
popularity  by  assumed  cordiality  and  democratic 
sympathies.  His  wife,  Carlota  of  Naples,  was  a 
vehement  and  energetic  young  woman,  whose  pride 
had  been  deeply  wounded  by  the  equivocal  and 
squalid  position  of  her  husband  at  Court,  and  the 
airs  of  superiority  indulged  in  by  Don  Carlos  and 
his  wife.  She  had  naturally,  therefore,  kept  as  far 
away  as  possible  from  the  fanatical  Conservative 
party,  of  which  Don  Carlos  was  the  figure-head  ;  and 
althouo-h  no  one  would  have  dared  to  hint  that 
Francisco  and  Carlota  were  Liberals,  it  came  to  be 
acknowledged  that  they  were  less  violently  reactionary 
than  the  elder  Infante  and  his  wife. 

Immediately  after  the  Queen's  death  both  of  these 
ladies  began  to  intrigue  for  their  own  ends.  Fernando 
was  uxorious  and  susceptible,  and  it  soon  became 
evident  that  he  could  not  contentedly  remain  single, 
as  Don  Carlos's  party  had  hoped.  Dona  Francisca  and 
her  sister,  the  Princess  of  Beira,  had  candidates  of  their 
own  ;  but  Dona  Carlota  had  a  beautiful  young  sister 
whose  portrait  quite  fascinated  the  King,  and,  to  the 
indignation  of  the  "apostolic"  party,  Fernando  decided 
to  marry  Maria  Cristina  of  Naples,  his  niece. 

Long  before  the  young  bride  appeared  in  Spain  the 
Carlist  party  resorted  to  the  vilest  calumny  to  render 
her  unpopular.  Her  personal  character  was  impugned, 
she  was  represented  as  an  ardent  and  irreligious 
reformer,  and  thus  the  violence  of  the  extremists 
drove  the  new  Queen  irresistibly  to  depend  upon 
their  opponents,  whatever  her  own  private  opinions 
may  have  been.     On  her  way  through  France  she 


(Fourth  wife  of  Fernando  VII.) 


was  greeted  by  the  Spanish  political  refugees,  who 
besTcred  her  intercession  for  their  return.  Her 
manner  was  winning  and  gracious  in  the  extreme, 
and  she  promised  the  exiles  that  she  would  help 
them,  a  promise  she  kept  far  better  than  Fernando 
kept  his  on  a  similar  occasion.  Her  journey  through 
Barcelona  and  Valencia  to  Aranjuez,  where  she  was 
betrothed  to  Don  Carlos  as  proxy  for  the  King  on 
the  8th  of  December,  1829,  was  a  triumphal  progress. 
Her  youth,  her  beauty,  and  her  graciousness  won  all 
hearts,  and  when  she  entered  Madrid  in  state  a  few 
days  afterwards,  dressed  in  the  sky  blue  which  ever 
after  was  the  colour  of  her  party,  with  her  husband 
riding  by  the  side  of  her  carriage,  the  people  under- 
stood that  a  new  era  was  about  to  dawn  upon 
Spain.  This  happy  smiling  girl  would,  surely,  never 
countenance  the  grim  cruelty  which  had  driven 
thousands  of  the  best  Spaniards  to  exile  or  to  death  ; 
by  Fernando's  side  she  would  be,  they  rightly 
thought,  a  counterpoise  to  the  two  sections  of  be- 
sotted reactionaries  who  alternately  ruled  the  counsels 
of  the  "  Rey  absolute." 

As  the  spirits  of  the  Liberals  rose  the  bitterness  of 
the  Carlists  increased.  Hopes  of  succession  to  the 
King  came  before  many  months,  and  still  further 
divided  the  royal  family,  who  now  hardly  kept  up 
even  a  semblance  of  civility  with  each  other.  If  the 
expected  child  should  prove  a  boy,  then  indeed  was 
the  cause  of  Don  Carlos  and  the  reactionaries  in  a 
bad  way,  and  all  the  prospects  of  the  party  were 
centred  in  the  fervent  anticipation  that  a  girl  might 
be  born.     But  Dona  Carlota  and  the  young  Queen, 


who  had  now  estabHshed  a  complete  domination 
over  P'ernando,  were  determined  at  any  cost  to  settle 
things  in  their  own  way,  and  cast  about  for  means 
to  do  it. 

In  the  early  pages  of  this  book  an  account  is 
given  of  the  strange  action  of  Charles  IV.  in  1789 
in  requesting  the  Cortes  secretly  to  agree  to  the 
abolition  of  the  Salic  law  in  Spain,  and  then  himself 
failing  to  perfect  the  enactment  by  publishing  it  as  a 
decree.  The  documents  of  the  Cortes  of  1789  had 
slumbered  peacefully  from  that  time  to  the  date 
with  which  we  are  now  occupied  ;  but  it  occurred 
to  the  advisers  of  the  Oueen  that  the  "  Pragmatic 
Sanction"  given,  but  not  published,  by  Charles  IV., 
might  now  be  disinterred  and  promulgated  by  his 
son  ;  in  which  case  Don  Carlos  would  only  succeed 
on  the  entire  failure  of  issue  to  the  King  and  Queen. 
The  proceedings  of  the  reactionist  party  had  already 
displeased  Fernando  ;  and  Doiia  Francisca,  his 
haughty  sister-in-law,  had  been  forced  aside  by  the 
cleverer  Neapolitan  princesses,  so  that  it  was  not 
difficult  to  persuade  the  King  to  decree  the  suc- 
cession of  his  own  child,  whatever  its  sex  might  be. 
Time-serving  Calomarde,  though  he  hated  and 
dreaded  liberalism,  was  afraid  of  offending  the  Queen; 
Grijalva,  a  minister  and  a  powerful  member  of  Fer- 
nando's  camarilla,  was  won  over;  and  on  the  31st  of 
March,  1830,  Spain  was  astounded  by  the  publication 
by  the  heralds  in  ancient  form  of  the  '•'  Pragmatic 
Sanction  "  restoring  the  ancient  law  of  succession  in 
Spain,  in  accordance  with  the  petition  of  the  Cortes 
of  1789. 



The  fury  of  the  CarHsts  and  the  reactionaries  at 
this  trick  was  unbounded.  Don  Carlos  indignantly 
denied  the  right  of  King  or  Cortes  to  deprive 
him  of  his  succession  according  to  the  decree  of 
Philip  V.  in  171 3  establishing  the  Salic  law,  and 
in  this  the  French  legitimists  sustained  him.  But 
legitimism  in  France  itself  was  tottering  to  its  fall 
under  Charles  X.  and  Polignac ;  and  soon  the 
accession  of  a  constitutional  king,  Louis  Philippe 
(August,  1830),  still  further  raised  the  hopes  of  the 
Spanish  Liberals.  Affairs,  however,  were  progressing 
too  fast  and  too  far  for  Fernando,  who  had  no  wish 
to  be  drawn  into  open  antagonism  to  the  party  of 
reaction.  He  was  afraid  of  French  liberalism,  and 
with  characteristic  unwisdom  he  refused  to  acknow- 
ledge \h.&fait  accompli  in  France  ;  whilst  Calomarde, 
anxious  still  to  keep  in  with  his  Carlist  friends,  was 
allowed  to  shut  up  the  colleges  and  universities,  and 
to  declare  that  education  was  the  greatest  curse  to 
the  people,  balancing  matters  by  establishing  under 
royal  patronage  a  great  school  of  bull-fighting  in 

Louis  Philippe  was  naturally  offended  at  the 
attitude  of  Fernando,  and  at  once  offered  encourage- 
ment to  the  Spanish  exiles  in  France  and  England 
to  establish  in  Spain  a  limited  elective  monarchy  like 
his  own.  The  exiles  eagerly  flocked  to  Paris,  but 
their  liberalism  was  of  various  grades.  They  had 
carried  with  them  in  their  banishment  the  divisions 
and  jealousies,  the  turbulence  and  impatience,  upon 
which  the  constitutional  Government  of  1820  had 
been  wrecked.     Already,  a  few  weeks  before  the  fall 


of  Charles  X.,  a  Spanish  expedition  had  started 
from  London,  only  to  be  frustrated  by  the  English 
authorities  ;  but  the  promised  aid  of  the  new  French 
king  brought  Alcala  Galiano,  Mendizabal,  Mina,  and 
other  leaders  to  France,  where  they  made  a  bolder 
move,  and  established  a  sort  of  provisional  govern- 
ment for  Spain  at  Bayonne,  consisting  of  Cayetano 
Valdes,  Calatrava,  Isturiz,  Vadillo,  and  Sancho  ; 
General  Mina  being  elected  Commander-in-chief  of 
the  armed  Liberal  forces.  Before  the  invasion  of 
Spain  could  be  organised  the  turbulent  generals  and 
colonels  who  were  to  take  part  quarrelled  amongst 
themselves,  several  of  them  refusing  to  recognise 
Mina  as  chief;  but  at  length  the  majority  of  the 
insurrectionists  consented  to  his  leadership,  and  the 
great  guerrillero  assumed  supreme  command.  But 
division  and  personal  jealousies  had  already  done 
their  work,  and  the  Liberals  in  Spain  held  aloof. 
Whilst  Mina  entered  Navarre,  other  forces  indepen- 
dent of  him,  receiving  their  direction  from  another 
revolutionary  government,  headed  by  General 
Torrijos  in  Gibraltar,  penetrated  different  points 
of  the  frontier.  With  a  total  strength  of  only  2,000 
men,  six  bodies  under  as  many  independent  generals 
invaded  Spain  ;  and,  as  may  be  supposed  in  such 
circumstances,  utter  failure  was  the  result.  Whilst 
they  had  been  squabbling  the  Government  troops 
had  been  mustering  to  meet  them ;  the  country 
people  looked  on  timidl)',  for  a  decree  had  been 
specially  published  condemning  to  death  any  one 
who  found  shelter  or  food  for  the  revolutionists  ;  and 
iven  those  who  corresponded  by  letter  with  any  of 


the  exiles  were  subject  to  brutal  penalties.  The 
invading  Liberals  were  therefore  promptly  overcome, 
and  those  who  escaped  with  their  lives  suffered 
fearful  hardships  before  they  were  able  to  recross  the 
frontier  into  France. 

But  failure,  even  such  as  this,  did  not  damp  the 
Liberal  ardour  ;  for  the  whole  tendency  of  Europe  in 
1830  was  towards  liberty  and  the  enfranchisement  of 
peoples  ;  and  General  Torrijos  from  Gibraltar,  early 
in  the  year,  published  a  manifesto,  setting  forth  to 
the  Spaniards  the  tyranny  under  which  they  suffered 
and  calling  them  to  arms.  On  the  night  of  the  28th 
of  January,  1831,  Torrijos  landed  with  200  com- 
panions near  Algeciras  ;  but  was  forced  by  over- 
powering numbers  to  re-embark  hastily  for  Gibraltar  ; 
and  other  equally  unsuccessful  attempts  were  made 
by  his  friends  elsewhere.  Those  who  were  caught 
in  arms  were  instantly  shot,  and  these  constant  petty, 
badly-planned  invasions  gave  to  the  reactionary 
councillors  near  the  King,  to  Calomarde  especially, 
fresh  excuse  for  covering  the  land  with  spies  and 
informers,  and  for  the  heartless  punishment  of  the 
victims  of  private  delation  by  the  re-erected  courts- 
martial  and  the  royalist  volunteers.  For  a  thought- 
less word  or  innocent  gesture  many  persons  were  led 
to  the  gallows,  and  again  women  as  well  as  men  lived 
in  the  daily  dread  of  death  for  an  unknown  offence, 
such  as  that  of  Mariana  Pineda,  a  lady  of  Granada, 
who  was  hanged  for  working  a  piece  of  embroidery 
which  spies  said  was  ultimately  intended  for  a  Liberal 

When  Fernando  had  accepted  the  inevitable  and 


acknowledged  Louis  Philippe,  the  latter  turned  his 
back  on  the  Spanish  exiles,  and  nothing  was  to 
be  feared  by  the  "  Rey  absolute "  from  the  French 
frontier.  But  Torrijos  and  his  friends  in  the  safe 
refuge  of  Gibraltar,  with  English  sympathy  on  their 
side,  were  still  in  danger.  Calomarde  suggested  to 
the  King  a  plan  worthy  of  him  to  dispose  of  these 
enemies  of  despotism.  The  instrument  was  to  be 
General  Gonzales  Moreno,  Governor  of  Malaga,  who 
in  old  times  had  been  friendly  with  Torrijos.  This 
man  approached  the  Liberal  leader  by  means  of 
spies,  hinted  at  his  discontent  with  reaction,  and  his 
willingness  to  co-operate  with  his  forces  in  a  rising, 
if  the  insurgents  landed  at  Malaga.  Torrijos'  friends 
and  colleagues,  Calderon  and  Golfin,  both  ex- 
members  of  Cortes,  warned  him  of  possible  treachery, 
but  nothing  would  shake  the  belief  of  Torrijos  in 
his  old  comrade.  Landing  near  the  town  from  two 
small  vessels  (December  4,  1831)  with  only  fifty-two 
followers,  Torrijos  found  that  he  had  fallen  into 
a  trap,  and  was  forced  to  surrender  to  Moreno. 
Instead  of  shooting  them  on  the  spot,  as  the  decrees 
allowed  him  to  do,  the  latter — doubtless  on  Calo- 
marde's  instructions — determined  to  make  an  object- 
lesson  of  the  misguided  victims  of  his  treachery. 
On  the  8th  of  December  the  Gazette  of  Madrid 
conveyed  to  the  lieges  the  "  happy  news "  of  the 
capture  of  Torrijos  and  his  band,  and  boasted  of 
the  royal  clemency  in  only  condemning  them  all  to 
be  shot  ;  not  even  excepting  the  sailors  who  had 
manned  the  vessels.  Torrijos  and  his  officers,  with 
the  aged  civilian  Calderon,  had   never  doubted  their 


fate ;  but  some  of  their  followers  had  dreamed  that 
their  lives,  at  least,  might  be  spared  ;  when  the 
horrible  news  came,  however,  to  Malaga,  that  they 
were  all  to  perish,  there  was  no  shrinking,  and  the 
whole  fifty-three  marched  to  their  death  still  hopeful 
of  a  happy  future  for  a  free  Spain,  when  the  sinister 
tyrant  should  be  dead.  Ranged  in  rows  the 
doomed  men  calmly  awaited  the  word  of  their 
leader  for  the  executioners  to  fire,  and  they  died 
where  they  fell,  the  last  Liberal  victims  of  the 
false-hearted  Fernando  VII.,  himself  now  trembling 
on  the  brink  of  his  unhonoured  grave.^ 

In  the  morning  of  Sunday,  October  10,  1830, 
an  anxious  crowd  of  functionaries  awaited  in  the 
ante-chamber  of  the  Queen's  apartment  in  the 
palace  of  Madrid  to  hear  at  the  earliest  possible 
moment  whether  the  expected  child  of  the  sovereign 
was  a  boy  or  a  girl.  Upon  it  much  depended,  for 
Don  Carlos  and  his  friends  had  made  no  secret  of 
the  intention  to  resist  by  force  the  accession  of  a 
Queen-regnant,  and  the  birth  of  a  prijicess  meant 
that  unhappy  Spain  was  doomed  to  another  era  of 
fratricidal  war,  unless  the  "Pragmatic  Sanction"  alter- 
ing the  succession  were  repealed.  When,  in  accordance 
with  the  ancient  custom,  the  infant  was  brought 
into  the  crowded  ante-room  on  a  silver  salver,  to  be 
exhibited,  the  King  in  his  impatience  could  not  wait 

'  The  betrayer  of  Torrijos,  General  Moreno,  was  ever  afterwards 
known  as  "  the  Executioner  of  Malaga,"  and  when  he  himself  in  turn 
became  an  exile  in  England  and  France,  he  found  that  every  decent  man 
turned  his  back  upon  him.  One  of  the  victims  was  a  young  Irishman 
named  Robert  Boyd,  who  provided  money  for  the  expedition. 





o  „ 
o  -^ 

~  ■? 



o  ^ 

7.   ? 




for  ocular  satisfaction,  but  called  out  hastily  as  the 
door  opened  :  "  What  is  it  ?  "  "A  robust  Infanta, 
your  Majesty,"  was  the  reply,  at  which  Fernando 
turned  pale,  and  the  friends  of  Don  Carlos  were  openly 
triumphant.  Fernando,  however,  overjoyed  at  his 
paternity,  soon  banished  misgivings,  if  he  entertained 
them,  and  loaded  his  wife  and  child  with  demonstra- 
tions of  affection,  ordering  that  the  little  Infanta 
Isabel  should  receive  the  honours  of  heiress  to  the 
crown,  and  Princess  of  Asturias. 

Queen    Cristina,   certain    now    of  the  affection   of 
her  husband,  missed  no  opportunity  of  ingratiating 
herself  with  the  people.     Her  youth  and  her  fascina- 
tion,  joined    with    the    general    impression    that  her 
influence   was    exerted    on   the  side    of  conciliation, 
made   her   extremely    popular.      She    did    her    best, 
too,  to  win   the   army    to    her   side  ;    knowing   that 
most     of    the     200,000    armed    royalist    volunteers, 
particularly  those  in  the    north,  would    oppose    any 
concession    to  liberalism.       On  the  first  birthday  of 
the  Infanta  (October    10,    1831)   the   Queen  handed 
to   the  representatives  of  the    army    some    banners, 
which    she    herself    had    embroidered,    and     in     her 
speech    to   the    generals,  and    her    manifesto    to  the 
troops,  carefully  emphasised  the  fact  that  they  were 
to  be  borne  in  defence  of  "  my  very  dear  husband, 
Fernando    VII.,    and   his    descendants."      Thus    the 
forces    were   gradually    being    defined-   and    arrayed 
on  both  sides,  and  even  in  the  cabinet  of  ministers 
two     parties    were    plainly    apparent,    the    Premier, 
Salmon,  and    Grijalva  being  timidly  on  the  side  of 
the  Queen,  whilst  Calomarde,  the  Minister  of  Justice, 


and  the  Bishop  of  Leon  stood  for  reaction  and  Don 
Carlos  ;  the  Finance  Minister,  Ballesteros,  holding 
himself  careful!}-  aloof  from  party,  and  working 
with  unprecedented  success  in  reforming  his  depart- 
ment and  balancing  the  national  revenue  and 

The  death  of  Salmon  at  the  beginning  of  1832, 
and  entry  of  the  Count  of  i\lcudia  in  the  ministry, 
gave  Calomarde  another  reactionary  colleague,  and 
weakened  the  party  of  the  Queen  at  a  critical  period. 
Another  daughter  was  born  to  the  Queen  in  January, 
1832;  but  it  was  now  impossible  to  conceal  the  fact  that 
Fernando  was  failing  rapidly,  and  that  no  more  issue, 
of  either  sex,  could  be  expected.  The  King  was  only 
48,  but  life  had  lost  its  savour  for  him.  He  had 
always  been  jocose — if  not  ribald — with  those  who 
surrounded  him,  and  loved  to  hear  the  scandal  and 
gossip  of  the  capital  ;  but  now,  like  so  man}'  of  his 

'  The  laborious  Ballesteros  succeeded  for  the  first  time  for  many 
years  in  balancing  the  budget.  There  was  hardly  any  navy  except  a 
few  coastguards  ;  and,  the  country  being  at  peace,  the  cost  of  the  army 
was  small  ;  he  cut  down  expenses  to  the  lowest  possible  figure,  and  by 
farming  out  the  customs  and  excise  avoided  some  of  the  enormous 
leakage  in  the  collection,  and  checked,  to  some  extent,  the  almost 
universal  contraband.  He  relieved  commerce  of  some  of  its  burdens, 
although  the  Catalan  and  Valencian  weavers  still  insisted  upon  a  pro- 
hibitive tariff  being  placed  on  English  goods.  He  set  by  a  considerable 
amount  every  year  to  be  spent  on  roads  and  canals,  promoted  an  indus- 
trial exhibition  in  Madrid,  and  made  Cadiz  a  free  port.  Salaries  and 
interest  on  debt  were  now  punctually  paid,  and  Spanish  stock  rose  to 
a  high  price  in  the  markets.  But  with  all  Ballesteros"  efforts,  the 
financial  administration  was  still  atrociously  bad,  which  will  be  seen 
when  it  is  considered  that  the  budget  for  1828  amounted  only  to 
^4,500,000,  although  the  people  were  heavily  taxed.  The  imports  for 
1S32  were  returned  as  only  £i']0,ooo,  and  exports  ;i^l6o,oc)0,  but  the 
contiaband  trade  must  enormously  have  exceeded  those  amounts. 


race,    he    fell    into    despairing    apathy    from    which 
nothing  could  arouse  him.     In  July  he  went  to  the 
summer  palace    of  the  Granja,  accompanied  by  his 
wife  and  children,  and  by  Don  Carlos  and  his  wife 
and    sister-in-law,    the    Princess     of     Beira.       Don 
Francisco  and  Dona  Carlota  were  at   their  country 
house  near  Cadiz  ;  for,  now  that  the  battle  was  won 
and    the    "  Pragmatic  Sanction "    had    been  promul- 
gated,   Dona    Carlota    had    no    particular    need    to 
remain    at  Court    and    subject    herself  to    the    daily 
flouts  of  her    proud    Portuguese    sister-in-law.     The 
breaking  of  the  pole  of  the   royal   carriage  on  the 
way  to  the  Granja  inflicted  upon  the  King  a  severe 
cut  on  the  head,  from  which  he  suffered  much  ;  and 
a  few  weeks   later  he  was  found   in  a  dead   swoon 
before  the  chapel  altar,  where  he  had  been  praying. 
All  through  July  and  August  anxiety  increased  as 
Fernando    became  more  and  more  feeble,  and    the 
agonies    he   suffered   from    suppressed    gout  became 
more  intense.       Queen    Cristina    nursed    him    with 
unremitting  care,  hardly  leaving    his    bedside    night 
or   day.     She  was  very  young    and    in    trouble,    in 
a   most  difficult  position,    but   anxious    to  do  right, 
thoueh    the  interests  of  her  children  were  at  stake. 
On  the   17th  of  September  the  King  was  thought  to 
be  dying,  and  the  Queen   sent  for  Calomarde  to  ask 
him  what  steps  she  ought    to   take  immediately  on 
the    demise    of    her    husband.      The    minister   was 
cunning  ;    and,    although    a    bitter    reactionary,   had 
endeavoured,    not    unsuccessfully,   to    stand    well    in 
the    opinion    of    the    Queen,    who    interpreted    his 
Aragonese  brusqueness  as  a  sign  of  honesty. 


This  was  Calomarde's  chance  and  he  took  it.  The 
Queen  was  but  an  inexperienced  girl,  with  no  friends 
near  her,  and  the  answer  that  Calomarde  gave  to  her 
question  was  that  the  moment  the  King  died  the 
whole  country,  the  volunteers  and  the  army,  would 
declare  for  Don  Carlos,  and  that  the  only  chance  left 
for  Cristina  and  her  daughter  was  to  endeavour  to 
propitiate  the  Infante  beforehand  by  securing  to  him 
a  share  in  the  government.  A  decree  was  accordingly 
signed  at  once  by  the  King  appointing  Cristina 
Regent  during  his  illness,  with  Don  Carlos  as  her  first 
adviser.  The  Infante  scoffed  at  the  idea,  as  Calo- 
marde knew  he  would  do,  and  when  he  was  offered  a 
joint  regency  he  haughtily  told  the  Queen's  emissary 
that  he  should  succeed  by  divine  right  to  the  crown 
itself,  and  would  accept  nothing  less  than  the  great 
destiny    to  which  God  had  called  him. 

The  King  became  hourly  worse,  and  Calomarde, 
the  Bishop  of  Leon,  the  Count  of  Alcudia,  and,  above 
all,  Dona  Francisca,  painted  to  the  distracted  young 
wife  and  mother  the  horrors  and  bloodshed  which 
would  ensue  on  the  attempt  to  seat  her  infant 
daughter  on  the  throne.  All  through  the  night,  as 
the  King  apparently  lay  dying,  the  deliberations 
went  on,  and  early  in  the  morning  (September  i8th) 
Fernando  sent  for  Calomarde  and  faintly  asked  him 
what  could  be  done  to  avert  the  threatened  disaster 
to  his  country  and  his  children.  "  Either,"  replied 
Calomarde,  "  the  '  Pragmatic  Sanction  '  must  be  re- 
pealed or  Spain  will  be  deluged  in  blood."  The 
Queen  in  tears  by  the  bedside  burst  out  with  the 
exclamation  :  "  No,  no  !  not  that !  anything  but  that, 


let  there  be  no  bloodshed ; "  and  the  King  faintly  re- 
plied that  if  that  were  the  only  alternative  he  would 
sign  a  revocation  of  the  "Pragmatic  Sanction";  "but 
I  enjoin  you,"  he  added,  "let  no  one  know  of  it  till  my 
eyes  are  closed;  it  must  not  be  published  before  then, 
or  be  allowed  out  of  the  Ministry  of  Justice."  At  six 
o'clock  the  same  evening  the  ministers  stood  around 
the  bed  with  the  short  decree  written  by  Calomarde 
revoking  the  "  Pragmatic  Sanction  "  of  19th  of  March, 
1830,  altering  the  law  of  succession.  "  It  is  well," 
said  Fernando,  as  it  was  read  to  him  ;  the  Queen 
herself  handed  him  a  pen,  and  a  moment  afterwards 
the  triumphant  Don  Carlos  was  again  the  legal  heir 
to  the  crown  of  Spain. 

Secret  as  these  transactions  were,  the  victory  of 
reaction  soon  became  public,  for  Don  Carlos  and  his 
wife  could  not  hide  their  glee.  But  the  country  was 
deeply  moved  ;  the  Liberals  and  moderates  had 
nourished  fresh  hopes  during  the  last  two  years  that 
the  black  despotism  which  was  crushing  Spain  was 
coming  to  an  end ;  that  the  young  Queen,  depending 
upon  her  people  for  support,  would  inaugurate  a  new 
era  which  should  enable  the  nation  to  range  alongside 
the  other  civilised  peoples  of  the  world  ;  and  now 
by  an  obscure  palace  intrigue  all  their  hopes  were 
crushed.  Murmurs  and  threats,  even  gathering  bands 
in  various  parts  of  the  country,  proved  that  the 
Liberals  would  not  give  way  without  a  struggle  ;  and 
Calomarde,  in  fear  for  the  precious  document  which 
gave  the  crown  to  Don  Carlos,  only  sent  copies  of  it 
to  the  ministries,  the  original  being  entrusted  to  the 
care  of  the  President  of  the  Council  of  Castile,  with 


strict  injunctions  that  the  seal  was  not  to  be  broken 
until  the  King  was  dead,  and  authority  was  sent. 
Soon  after  Fernando  signed  the  decree  he  fell  into 
torpor,  and  life  was  pronounced  extinct. 

Already  Don  Carlos  was  greeted  as  Majesty,  and 
orders  were  given  for  the  decree  to  be  published. 
The  reactionary  band  were  in  the  midst  of  their  joy, 
when  the  news  ran  through  the  palace  that  the 
officials  employed  in  preparing  the  King's  body  for 
sepulture  had  found  that  he  was  still  alive.  In  their 
hurry  some  of  the  Carlist  party  had  already  posted 
a  few  manuscript  copies  of  their  precious  decree  on 
the  gates  of  the  palace  ;  but  these  were  hastily  re- 
moved ;  and  as  if  miraculously  the  King  rapidly 

The  news  of  Fernando's  dangerous  condition  and 
the  intrigues  of  her  enemies  had  flown  to  the  Infanta 
Carlota  in  Andalusia,  and  without  losing  a  moment, 
as  fast  as  the  best  horses  could  carry  her,  she  rushed 
to  her  sister  at  the  Granja.  To  her  delight  she  found 
the  King  still  living  and  set  to  work  with  all  her 
masterful  energy  to  undo  the  evil  that  had  been  done. 
There  was  no  withstanding  her  ;  she  learnt  all  details 
from  the  Queen  at  once,  and  her  first  care  was  to 
wrest  the  original  decree  from  the  hands  of  the 
President  of  the  Council  of  Castile.  It  was  a  secret 
ministerial  document  of  supreme  national  importance, 
to  which  she  had  not  a  shadow  of  a  right,  but  when 
aroused  she  was  a  virago  who  would  take  no  denial, 
and  she  well-nigh  frightened  the  exalted  judicial 
functionary  out  of  his  wits  with  her  violence.  When 
she  had  extorted  from  him  the  precious  paper  and 


had  destroyed  it  utterly,  she  had  time  to  scold  her 
sister  for  her  weakness,  and  then  she  dealt  with 
Calomarde.  She  did  not  mince  her  words  with  him. 
He  was  a  false,  lying  rogue,  and  much  else;  she  would 
take  care  that  he  suffered  for  his  baseness  (in  which 
she  kept  her  word)  ;  and,  when  the  wretched  man 
was  sufficiently  cowed,  she  ended  by  giving  him  a 
tremendous  box  on  the  ears.  In  his  pain  and 
terror  the  time-serving  knave  could  only  blurt 
out,  "  Madam  ;  white  hands  offend  not."  This  was 
on  the  22nd  of  September,  and  the  princess's  energy 
changed  the  aspect  of  affairs  in  a  few  hours.  The 
King  privately  cancelled  his  revocation  of  the 
"  Pragmatic  Sanction,"  Calomarde  ^  and  all  his  col- 
leagues were  disgraced  and  banished  (October  ist), 
a  new  ministry  headed  by  Cea  Bermudez,  ambassador 
in  England,  was  appointed,  friends  flocked  to  the 
Queen  on  all  sides  ;  and,  on  the  6th  of  October  a 
decree  was  signed  by  Fernando,  appointing  his 
"  dear  wife "  Cristina  sole  Regent   of  Spain. 

Thenceforward  the  issues  were  clear.  On  the  one 
side  was  reaction,  with  sanctimonious  Don  Carlos  and 
his  haughty  wife,  surrounded  by  friars  and  serviles  ; 
and  on  the  other  was  a  fascinating,  clever,  gracious 
young  woman,  with  an  infant  daughter,  appealing  to 
the  love  of  liberty,  the  hopes  of  national  regeneration, 
the   chivalry   and   generosity    of    all    Spaniards    not 

'  The  famous  Minister  of  Justice  was  ordered  to  be  imprisoned  in 
Minorca  by  Cristina,  but  he  managed  to  escape  in  disguise  to  France, 
where  he  offered  his  service  to  Don  Carlos,  and  was  refused.  He 
never  returned  to  Spain,  but  died  in  France  in  1842.  His  colleague, 
the  Bishop  of  Leon,  became  a  leader  of  the  Carlist  party. 

CR  IS  Tina's  temporary  regency.  287 

utterly  besotted  with  the  contemplation  of  the  dead 
past.  The  new  Queen  Regent  lost  no  time  in  earning 
the  gratitude  of  those  upon  whom  alone  she  could 
depend  in  the  future.  The  universities,  which  had 
been  closed  by  the  contemptible  Calomarde,  were  re- 
opened by  decree,  all  the  governor-generals  of  pro- 
vinces and  the  chief  commanders  of  the  army  who 
had  been  appointed  by  the  "apostolics"  were  replaced 
by  men  of  higher  and  more  progressive  character  ;  and 
finally  a  generous  amnesty  for  the  Liberals  who  still 
languished  in  prison  or  starved  in  exile  was  promul- 
gated (October  15th).  Ill  as  Fernando  still  was  he 
was  able  to  thwart  Cristina's  wishes  to  some  extent 
in  this  matter,  by  insisting  upon  excepting  from  the 
amnesty  those  who  had  voted  in  Seville  for  the  tem- 
porary appointment  of  a  regency  (1823),  and  those 
who  had  led  armed  forces  against  his  sovereignty. 
A  few  days  after  the  publication  of  the  amnesty  the 
King  was  well  enough  to  return  to  Madrid,  and  the 
Queen  was  received  as  the  liberator  of  an  enslaved 
people,  with  delight  unbounded,  by  all  that  was  wise, 
moderate,  and  progressive  in  the  country.  Congratu- 
lations, thanks,  and  ardent  professions  of  adhesion  were 
showered  upon  Cristina,  in  many  cases  even  by  those 
who  had  been,  and  were  yet  to  be,  the  greatest  ene- 
mies of  progress  ;  but  the  tide  for  the  moment  was  so 
strong  as  to  bear  nearly  all  before  it.  Here  and  there, 
particularly  in  Cataluna  and  the  north,  some  show 
was  made  of  resisting  the  Queen's  commands,  and 
a  conspiracy  was  discovered  in  the  Life  Guards  at 
Madrid,  but  the  dissent  was  drowned  in  a  vast  chorus 
of  praise,  and  the  Carlists  for  the  moment  were  beaten 


A  new  department  of  State  was  created  to  promote 
industry,  means  of  communication,  and  instruction, 
and  all  eyes  looked  hopefully  to  the  future,  when  the 
.  arrival  of  the  new  Prime  Minister,  Cea  Bermudez, 
i  from  London  (November,  1832),  threw  everything 
into  confusion  again.  He  had  been  appointed,  with- 
out previous  consultation,  on  the  strength  of  his 
having  appeared  more  moderate  than  the  men  by  whom 
he  was  surrounded  in  his  former  ministry,  but  his  one 
idea  of  an  "  enlightened  despotism  "  received  a  rude 
shock  when  he  saw  how  far  the  Queen  had  gone  in 
the  direction  of  enlightenment,  and  how  much  she  had 
neglected  the  despotic  part  of  the  combination. 

Under  his  influence  the  Regent  published  a 
threatening  manifesto  warning  "  the  misguided  men 
who  thought  that  her  merciful  dispositions  were 
meant  to  encourage  hopes  of  a  vague  future  ; "  or, 
"who  dared  to  advocate  any  other  form  of  govern- 
ment than  the  pure,  simple  monarchy,  as  the  King 
had  inherited  it  from  his  ancestors,"  that  upon  their 
necks  the  suspended  knife  should  fall,  no  matter  who 
they  or  their  accomplices  might  be.  A  note  in  a 
similar  sense  was  sent  to  all  foreign  Governments, 
and  the  Queen  herself  was  made  to  understand,  both 
by  the  King  and  Cea  Bermudez,  that  she  had  gone 
quite  far  enough  in  her  concessions  to  the  Liberals. 
The  Ministers  of  Justice  (Cafranga)  and  of  War 
(Monet),  who  felt  with  Cristina  that  when  the  moment 
came  the  whole  Conservative  party  would  rally  to 
Don  Carlos,  dissented  from  their  chief  and  were 
dismissed  ;  but  the  Queen  provided  them  with  im- 
portant posts  elsewhere,  and  so  far  as  she  personally 


was  concerned  made   no   secret  that  her  sympathies 
were  now  with  the  Progressive  party. 

On  the  last  day  of  the  year  1832  the  revocation  of 
the  "  Pragmatic  Sanction  "  was  pubHcly  withdrawn 
by  the  King,  with  every  solemnit}-  and  formalit\-  with 
which  it  was  possible  to  invest  the  ceremony,  and 
this  was  the  last  drop  in  the  cup  of  Carlist  patience. 
The  solemn  decree  of  revocation  set  forth  that  in  his 
seeming  death  agony  Fernando  had  been  betra}-ed 
by  traitors  into  signing  the  revocation  for  their  own 
horrible  ends.  They  had,  he  said,  disobeyed  and 
deceived  him,  and  he  denounced  them  and  declared 
the  revocation  absolutely  void.  Consternation  and 
rage  seized  the  reactionaries.  Dona  Francisca,  who 
had  formed  a  sort  of  provisional  government  con- 
sisting of  the  Bishop  of  Leon,  the  General  of  the 
Jesuits,  Joseph  O'Donnell,  and  others,  and  had  com- 
menced the  organisation  of  the  party  for  resistance, 
would  wait  no  longer,  but  decided  to  strike  her  blow. 
The  King  early  in  January  again  took  charge  of  the 
Government,  approving  of  the  whole  of  Cristina's  acts 
as  Regent,  and  this  was  made  the  signal  for  a  pre- 
concerted rising  of  royalist  volunteers  in  the  city  of 
Leon,  under  the  eye  of  the  turbulent  bishop  ;  but  the 
admirable  firmness  of  General  Castanon  and  the 
activity  of  the  provincial  Government  suffocated  the 
insurrection.  At  the  same  time  attempted  mutinies 
took  place  in  Barcelona,  Toledo,  and  in  several  other 
places,  but  everywhere  with  the  same  result,  although 
bishops,  priests,  and  friars,  almost  to  a  man,  preached 
rebellion.  At  length  Fernando's  Government  lost 
patience  ;    Don    Carlos    and    all    his    family    were 



"  allowed  "  to  visit  Portugal  for  two  months  (March, 
1833),  and  the  breach  between  the  brothers  grew 
ever  wider,  whilst  Fernando,  under  the  influence  of 
the  Queen,  became  more  firmly  determined  that  his 
daughter  should  succeed  him. 

In  the  ancient  Gothic  church  of  San  Geronimo, 
formerly  attached  to  the  palace  of  Buen  Retiro,  which 
had  now  disappeared,  the  infant  Princess  of  Asturias 
\  received  the  oath  of  allegiance  of  the  Cortes  on  the 
20th  of  June.  It  was  no  longer  the  democratic 
Cortes  of  18 12  or  1820,  but  the  ancient  Chamber 
consisting  of  the  deputies  of  the  privileged  towns 
sitting  with  the  prelates  and  grandees  summoned 
for  the  occasion.  For  three  months  previous  the 
preparations  had  occupied  all  minds,  and  nothing 
was  omitted  that  wealth,  skill,  or  foresight  could 
devise  to  add  splendour  to  the  ceremony.  Madrid 
was  turned  from  a  prosaic  city  of  to-day  into  an 
enchanted  scene  from  the  Middle  Ages.  Ancient 
glories  long  forgotten  were  revived,  and  through- 
out the  country  pomp  and  charitable  munificence 
joined  to  impress  favourably  upon  all  classes  the 
name  of  Isabel,  the  infant  heiress  to  the  crown  of 

One  conspicuous  figure  was  absent  from  the  feast. 
Fernando  wrote  begging  his  brother  Carlos  loyally 
to  come  and  swear  allegiance  to  the  baby  princess, 
but  the  Infante  firmly  but  kindly  refused.  "  Neither 
my  conscience  nor  my  honour  will  permit  me  to  do 
so,"  he  wrote  ;  "  my  rights  to  the  crown  are  so  clear, 
failing  male  issue  to  you,  that  I  cannot  ignore  them." 
And  when  the   great  ceremony  took  place  a  formal 


protest  was  lodged  in  the  name  of  the  King's  brother 
Carlos,  who  claimed  the  heirship  for  himself  This 
was  open  rebellion,  after  which  no  further  negotiations 
were  possible,  and  Carlos  was  peremptorily  ordered 
by  his  brother  to  leave  Portugal  and  retire  to  the 
Pontifical  States.  He  temporised  and  prevaricated  as 
long  as  possible,  and  at  length  gave  an  answer  which 
closed  all  communication  with  Fernando.  Portugal, 
thanks  to  expeditions  from  England  under  Mendizabal 
and  Admiral  Napier,  had  declared  for  the  constitu- 
tional cause,  the  absolutist,  Dom  Miguel,  being  ex- 
pelled from  Lisbon  and  Oporto.  Don  Carlos's  final 
answer  to  his  brother  was  to  the  effect  that  he  would 
leave  Lisbon  when  Dom  Miguel  reconquered  it ;  which 
meant,  in  effect,  never  until  he  pleased.  Civil  war, 
therefore,  inevitably  impended  over  Spain  ;  the  new 
and  the  old,  light  and  darkness,  were  once  more  to 
fight  out  their  eternal  issue  on  Spanish  soil.  On  the 
29th  of  September,  1833,  the  long-expected  blow  fell, 
and  Fernando  VII.  died  of  apoplexy.  Two  days 
later  his  will  was  publicly  read,  when  it  was  found 
that  he  had  left  his  widow  Cristina  guardian  of  his 
two  children  and  Queen  Governess  of  Spain  during 
the  minority  of  Isabel  II. 

Considered  from  any  point  of  view,  the  death  of 
Fernando  was  the  end  of  the  old  dispensation  in 
Spain.  He  had  all  his  life  refused  to  concede  any- 
thing, except  by  force,  to  the  modern  spirit  which 
demanded  for  the  people  a  voice  in  their  own  govern-  ■ 
ment.  He  was  a  despot  pure  and  simple.  Sometimes 
a  benevolent  one  in  a  sardonic  way,  as  when  he  de- 
graded and  put  to  shame,  as  he  loved  to  do,  some  of 


his  corrupt  pompous  functionaries  on  the  complaint 
of  a  humble  suitor ;  but  in  thought  and  mind  he 
belonged  to  the  sixteenth  rather  than  to  the  nineteenth 
century,  and  it  was  impossible  for  another  sovereign 
to  begin  where  he  left  off.  It  was  this  fact  that  made 
Carlism  hopeless  as  a  national  movement  from  the 
first,  for  although  the  Infante  had  on  his  side  the 
majority  of  the  official  classes  and  the  clergy 
who  desired  no  innovation,  the  country  at  large  was 
palpitating  with  a  desire  for  progress,  whilst  the 
forces  arrayed  against  it  were — and  are — local  and 
sectional.  Such  a  struggle  might  endure  for  a  shorter 
or  a  longer  period,  but  could  only  end  in  one 

Unfortunately  Fernando's  benighted  policy  had 
^sacrificed  or  driven  into  exile  most  men  of  really 
progressive  ideas  ;  and  those  who  surrounded  his 
widow,  although  enlightened  in  comparison  with 
such  ministers  as  Calomarde,  were  still  rigidly  Con- 
servative, and  timidly  sought  to  conciliate  reaction 
whilst  effecting  a  revolutionary  change  in  the  succes- 
sion. It  was  this  blindness  to  obvious  facts,  this 
hatred  of  appealing  frankly  to  popular  support, 
this  eternal  hankering  after  old  despotic  methods 
by  a  Government  whose  very  existence  was  bound 
up  in  opposing  the  absolutist  doctrines  of  the  past, 
that  brought  about  much  of  the  long-drawn  agony 
which  subsequently  afflicted  Spain.  Don  Carlos 
represented  an  obsolete  and  discredited  system 
which  no  enlightened  nation  would  have  endured  for 
any  length  of  time,  and  the  wise  course  would  have 
been  for  Cristina  to  have  left  him  in  the  possession  of 


the  reactionary  elements,  whilst  she  called  to  her  side 
the  contrasted  forces  of  liberty,expansion,and  progress. 
It  will  be  seen  in  the  next  chapter  that  under  the 
distrustful  guidance  of  Cea  Bermudez  she  took  the 
opposite  course  with  unhappy  results. 



The  whole  active  reign  of  Fernando  VII.,  from  his 
return  to  Spain  in  1814  until  his  death  in  1833,  had 
been  a  horrible  national  nightmare,  with  the  doubtful 
exception  of  the  few  feverish  years  of  constitutional 
rule  after  the  revolt  of  Riego.  History  has  no  record 
of  blacker  ingratitude  than  that  with  which  the  King 
treated  the  country  at  large,  and  particularly  those  of 
his  subjects  who  were  favourable  to  progress  and 
enlightenment.  Whilst  he  was  basely  truckling  at 
the  feet  of  the  foreigner  who  was  trampling  upon  his 
country,  whilst  he  was  living  in  slothful  complacency 
at  Valencay,  or  basely  bartering  away  the  throne  of 
his  forefathers,  Spaniards  of  all  shades  of  opinion,  the 
Progressives  certainly  not  less  than  others,  were 
straining  every  nerve,  sacrificing  ease,  property,  life 
itself,  to  keep  intact  the  realm  for  the  idolised  Fer- 
nando. We  have  traced  step  by  step  the  events  of 
the  King's  unworthy  life,  and  how  he  repaid  his 
countrymen  for  their  heroic  efforts  in  his  favour,  and 
we  have  seen  in  passing  the  blighting  effects  of  such  a 
regime  as  his  upon  the  social,  financial,  and  industrial 

condition  of  the  country. 



These  lamentable  effects  continued  up  to  the  time 
of  the  King's  death.  It  is  true  that  the  revenue 
and  expenditure  balanced  under  the  care  of 
Ballesteros,  but  the  revenue  itself  was  miserably 
small — considerably  less  than  it  had  been  fifty 
years  before — and  everything  was  poor,  parsi- 
monious, and  stunted.  The  only  commerce  that 
flourished  was  contraband,^  the  roads  were  infested 
with  robbers,  semi-starvation  was  almost  universal, 
the  capital  itself  was  a  byword  for  its  filth,  its  lack  of 
decent  police,  and  the  dismal  backwardness  of  its 
customs.  Nor  could  this  be  wondered  at  when  all 
the  men  of  light  and  leading  who  had  not  been  sent 
to  the  gallows  by  the  brutal  infatuation  of  the 
monarch  and  the  persecuting  lust  of  the  zealots,  were 
wearing  out  their  lives  in  pestilential  dungeons  or 
suffering  the  privations  of  exile.  Such  men  as  the 
Count  de  Toreno,  Quintana,  the  Duke  of  Rivas, 
Canga  Argiielles,  Agustin  Arglielles,  Martinez  de  la 
Rosa,  Calatrava,  Munoz  Torrero,  and  Nicasio  Gallego, 
were  the  salt  of  the  nation  ;  and  when  they,  and 
thousands  such  as  they,  had  gone,  it  was  natural  that 
their  country  should  fall  into  the  slough. 

This  would  have  been  the  case  even  if  Fernando 
had   chosen  the   best   men  he   could   have    found   in 

'  To  show  how  Uttle  aid  Fernando  gave  to  the  efforts  of  his  Finance 
Minister,  Mesonero  Romanes  tells  the  story  that  Ballesteros,  with  the 
greatest  of  difficulty,  induced  the  King  to  visit  the  humble  Exhibition 
of  Spanish  Industries  which  the  former  had  organised.  When  the  King 
entered  the  section  devoted  to  Catalan  textiles,  by  far  the  most  impor- 
tant manufacturing  industry  in  Spain,  he  turned  on  his  heel  and  refused 
to  take  any  interest  in  the  exhibits,  saying  as  he  went,  "  Bah  !  these  are 
only  women's  things." 

296  WAJ?   AND   ANAkCHY. 

the  ultra-Conservative  ranks,  for  the  perioa  was 
eminently  one  of  progress  all  over  Europe  ;  but, 
as  has  already  been  pointed  out,  he  was  aided  in 
his  policy  by  many  ministers  who  would  have  been 
looked  upon  as  gross  caricatures  if  they  had  repre- 
sented the  part  in  an  opei-a  bouffe,  such  nonentities 
as  Lozano  de  Torres,  Ecoiquiz,  and  Mozo  de  Rosales. 
Nor  was  this  even  the  lowest  depth.  The  secret 
camarilla,  which  over-rode  and  unmade  ministries 
to  the  accompaniment  of  cigars  and  coarse  jokes, 
was  largely  made  up  of  ignorant  boobies  of  the 
lowest  ranks  of  society— Ugarte,  an  ex-errand  boy, 
"  Chamorro,"  a  water-carrier,  and  the  like ;  and  it 
was  inevitable  that  under  the  influence  of  such  men 
and  such  a  king  Spain  should  be  dragged  back,  as 
she  was,  into  the  dark  ages  at  a  time  when  all  other 
nations  were  vibrating  with  new  hopes  and  aspirations 
in  the  youth  of  what  was  evidently  destined  to  be  the 
century  of  light. 

In  the  midst  of  a  society  oppressed  by  a  censorship 
worthy  of  the  days  of  Philip  II.,  and  compelled  to 
slavish  observance  of  religious  forms,  which,  in  most 
cases,  thinly  covered  hideous  immorality  and  ribald 
unbelief,  it  may  well  be  supposed  that  the  intellectual 
development  of  Spain  in  the  latter  part  of  Fer- 
nando's  reign  was  as  closely  cramped  as  it  had  been 
at  the  beginning.  With  the  death  of  Maiquez  the 
glory  even  of  the  Spanish  stage  was  for  a  time 
eclipsed,  and  second-rate  Italian  opera  and  trashy 
translations  from  the  French  attracted  more  attention 
than  the  classic  drama.  There  was,  however,  no  lack 
of  young   men  of  genius   awaiting  the    liberation  of 


thought  to  exercise  their  gifts.  Breton  de  los 
Herreros'  and  Gil  y  Zarate,^  though  hampered  by 
their  surroundings,  had  ah"eady  produced  some 
comedies  which  gave  promise  of  their  future  great- 
ness, whilst  Espronceda,  Serafin  Calderon("El  Soli- 
tario"),  Ventura  de  la  Vega,  Fermin  Caballero, 
Mesonero  Romanos,  Larra,  and  other  afterwards 
famous  writers,  were  already  spreading  their  wings 
for  broader  flight   when  times  should   mend. 

The  intellectual  movement,  however,  such  as  it 
was,  was  largely  coloured  by  French  influence;  the 
most  popular  plays  being  Grimaldi's  adaptations 
from  the  Paris  stage,  whilst  the  only  readable  prose 
allowed  by  the  censorship  were  mild  social  satires 
and  local  pictures  written  on  French  models.3  For 
years  past  all  Spaniards  but  those  pledged  irrevocably 
to  obscurantism  had  looked  forward  to  Fernando's 
death  as  opening  out  new  possibilities  of  advance- 
ment, not  alone  for  literature  and  society,  but  also  for 
politics  and  material  interests ;  and  the  illustrious 
men  still  in  exile,  as  well  as  all  friends  of  enlighten- 
ment in  Spain  itself,  watched  with  bated  breath  the 
first  acts  of  the  Queen  Regent  after  her    husband's 

'  Breton  de  los  Ilerreros  gained  his  first  success  in  1S28  with  "A 
Madrid  me  vuelvo,"'  but  it  was  not  until  the  last  dayofi83i  that  he 
became  celebrated,  with  his  fine  comedy  of  "  Marcela." 

-  Gil  y  Zarate  began  his  great  career  at  this  time  with  the  slight 
comedies  called  "  Un  aiio  despues  de  la  boda,"  "  El  Hombre  del 
Mundo,"  "  Cuidado  con  las  Novias,"  &c.,  but  he  afterwards  became 
illustrious  in  the  historical  drama. 

3  These  sketches  were  usually  published  under  a  pseudonym.  The 
most  important  were  by  Calderon  ("El  Solitario "),  Larra  ("EI 
pobrecito  hablador"),  and  Mesonero  Romanos  ("  El  curioso  parlante  ") 
— all  being  published  in  a  kind  of  periodical  called  Cartas  Espafiolas, 


death,  in  the  fervent  hope  that  they  would  be 
indicative  of  an  entire  change  of  pohcy. 

Bitter  was  their  disappointment  when  the  Regent's 
manifesto  to  her  people  was  published  on  the  4th 
of  October.  No  concessions  was  made  to  freedom 
or  to  the  demands  of  modern  progress,  no  word  of 
appeal  to  Liberals  to  support  the  throne  of  the 
baby-Queen  against  the  hosts  of  despotism  led  by 
her  uncle;  nothing  but  a  foolish  effort  to  win  the 
reactionaries  to  her  side  by  a  stiff  pronouncement  to 
the  effect  that  nothing  should  be  changed  in  form  or 
spirit  of  the  fundamental  laws  of  the  monarchy; 
"  and  that  no  dangerous  innovations  will  be  allowed, 
however  attractive  they  may  appear  at  first."  "  I 
will,"  it  runs,  "  transmit  to  the  Queen,  to  whom  the 
law  has  given  it,  the  sceptre  of  Spain  intact  and 
unimpaired,  as  the  law  has  handed  it  down."  This 
ill-starred  beginning  had  the  natural  effect  of  alien- 
ating the  Liberals,  whilst  not  attracting  the  reaction- 
aries, who  had  already  taken  the  side  of  Don  Carlos. 
If  despotism  was  to  rule  no  matter  which  sovereign 
was  to  sit  upon  the  throne,  the  Liberals  and  their 
friends  were  not  likely  again  to  expose  their  lives  for 
the  question  of  persons,  and  the  victory  of  Don  Carlos 
was  a  foregone  conclusion. 

It  was,  indeed,  with  the  people  no  longer  a  dispute 
on  the  succession  to  the  throne  only  :  it  was  a  question 
of  widely  divergent  principle  ;  and  the  blindness  of 
Cea  Bermudez  in  thus  alienating  the  only  party  upon 
which  the  Queen  could  depend  in  any  case  shows 
how  little  even  the  most  advanced  Conservative 
statesmen  of   the   time  had  gauged    the  needs   and 



aspirations  of  the  people.  Nor  were  the  members 
of  the  Council  appointed  in  the  King's  will  to  aid  the 
Regent  better  equipped  than  Cea  himself  They 
were  respectable  mediocrities  of  the  more  moderate 
Conservative  party — the  Duke  of  Medina  Celi,  the 
Duke  of  Bailen  (General  Castanos),  the  Marquis  of 
Santa  Cruz,  Don  Francisco  Caro,  Don  Jose  Maria 
Ruiz,  and  Count  de  Ofalia  :  and  though  from  all 
parts  of  Spain  news  came  that  the  standard  of  revolt 
had  been  raised  with  the  cry  of  "  Viva  Carlos  V. !  " 
and  even  in  Madrid  itself  the  Pretender  was  acclaimed 
by  armed  bands,  the  Council  and  the  ministry 
insisted  upon  their  chimerical  programme  of  "  enlight- 
ened despotism,"  of  which  the  enlightenment  was  the 
bait  and  despotism  the  visible  hook. 

Before  many  days  had  passed,  it  was  evident  that 
such  a  position  could  not  be  maintained.  The 
generals  in  the  provinces  reported  that  the  people 
everywhere  would  refuse  to  stand  against  the 
Carlists,  unless  some  concessions  were  made  in  a 
constitutional  direction.  Some  of  them,  Quesada 
and  Llauder  especially,  frankly  told  Cristina  that 
her  system  did  not  offer  the  guarantees  for  liberty 
which  Spaniards  had  a  right  to  demand,  and  that  her 
daughter's  throne  could  not  be  maintained  unless 
a  representative  chamber  was  summoned.  Cristina 
gave  way  grudgingly.  She  extended  the  amnesty  to 
most  of  the  remaining  Liberals  ;  but  it  was  too  late  for 
half  measures  of  this  sort  now.  Carlism  was  spread- 
ing and  organising  rapidly,  whilst  the  masses,  disap- 
pointed at  the  Regent's  action,  refused  to  stir  ;  and 
the  troops  of  the  Queen  showed  no  signs  of  enthu- 

300  WAJ?   AND   ANARCHY. 

siasm  for  her  cause.  At  the  end  of  the  year  it  became 
obvious  that  the  poHcy  must  be  changed  at  once,  or 
Isabel  II.  must  make  way  for  Carlos  V.  ;  and  Cea 
Bermudez,  who  had  fallen  on  a  previous  occasion 
because  he  was  too  liberal  for  the  King,  was  now 
dismissed  because  he  was  not  liberal  enough  for  the 

The  new  Prime  Minister  was  the  illustrious  man  of 
letters,  Martinez  de  la  Rosa,  whose  fiery  liberalism  of 
1812  had  toned  down  very  considerably  as  his  years 
had  increased,  and  who  had  been  so  much  attacked 
and  distrusted  by  the  exalted  Radicals  in  182;^  He 
had  doubtless  learnt  in  his  long  exile  that  freedom 
was  a  plant  of  slow  growth,  which  needed  much 
cultivation  before  it  reached  maturity.  He  certainly 
now  saw  that  the  extremely  democratic  one-chamber 
constitution  of  1812  was  too  great  a  step  to  be  taken 
suddenly  from  the  absolutism  of  Fernando  VII.,  and 
he  discouraged  all  idea  of  reviving  it.  It  was,  however, 
necessary,  that  the  public  demand  for  a  more  demo- 
cratic system  than  that  of  Fernando  VII.  should  be 
satisfied  at  once  if  Carlism  was  to  be  withstood  ;  and 
Martinez  de  la  Rosa  cautiously  set  about  the  work. 
The  press  censorship  was  greatly  lightened,  the  whole 
of  the  exiled  Liberals  were  now  allowed  to  come  back 
and  their  property  was  restored,  and  some  reforms 
were  made  in  the  administration  ;  but  the  minister, 
mindful  of  the  extravagance  and  indiscipline  of  the 
former  National  Militia,  distrusted  an  armed  pea- 
santry, and  limited  the  new  auxiliary  forces  which  were 
to  fieht  the  Carlists  to  what  was  called  an  Urban 
Militia,  drawn   in  strictly  limited   numbers   from  the 


towns  only,  and  with  certain  conditions  of  age  and 
standing  for  the  members.  All  this  was  very  well  as 
a  beginning,  but  it  failed  to  meet  the  now  rising 
demand  for  some  form  of  representative  govern- 

It  was  clear  from  the  first  that  the  ministry  did  not 
intend  to  revert  to  the  Cortes  of  181 2  and  1820,  and 
in  order  to  save  appearances,  and  yet  to  satisf}- 
modern  requirements,  an  attempt  was  made  to  graft  a 
new  system  on  the  mass  of  ancient  and  obsolete  forms 
which  had  ruled  the  long-forgotten  parliaments  of 
early  times.  The  task  was  a  difficult  one,  and  under 
the  circumstances  unwise.  The  popular  representa- 
tion in  Spain  was  far  older  than  the  despotism  which 
had  stifled  it,  and  the  attempt  to  revive  the  former  on 
old  lines,  whilst  retaining  for  the  latter  much  of  its 
power,  aroused  the  natural  feeling  that  the  throne  was 
only  grudgingly  giving  back  in  its  hour  of  extremity 
an  instalment  of  the  rights  which  it  had  filched  from 
the  people  in  the  days  of  its  strength. 

The  grave  objection  to  the  "  Statute  "  now  pro- 
mulgated (April,  1834)  was  that,  instead  of  being 
discussed  and  adopted  by  a  representative  constituent 
chamber  of  any  sort,  it  was  tendered  as  a  boon  from 
the  crown,  to  be  taken  entire  without  discussion  or 
amendment.  The  show  of  adhering  to  the  ancient 
laws  was  a  mere  pretence,  although  whenever  possible 
ancient  names  were  preserved  ;  for  the  various 
parliaments  which  formerly  sat  had  widely  dissimilar 
constitutions,  and  each  one  had  varied  wreath'  at 
different  times  ;  but  it  was  considered  that  the  new 
constitution   would    be  more   readil}'   accepted    if   it 


302  WAX   AND   ANARCHY. 

came  as  a  revival  of  ancient  liberties,  and  the  well- 
meant  attempt  was  made. 

The  constitution  decreed  by  Cristina  in  1834 
avoided  most  of  the  danger  points  of  that  of  181 2; 
and  was  purely  monarchical  in  its  tendency.  There 
were  two  chambers  called  estamentos  :  one  consisting; 
of  the  prelates,  grandees,  and  peers  of  Castile, 
sitting  by  right,  and  an  unlimited  number  of  func- 
tionaries and  other  distinguished  persons  appointed 
by  the  Crown  for  life,  a  high  property  qualification 
being  fixed  for  members.  The  second  chamber — of 
deputies — -consisted  of  188  members  elected  by  equal 
districts  of  population,  the  election  being  indirect.  In 
each  sub-district  the  town  councils,  and 'an  equal 
number  of  the  largest  taxpayers,  met  and  chose  two 
representatives  to  form  an  electoral  college  in  the 
capital  of  the  district,  which  college  elected  the 
deputies.  The  deputies  were  to  be  at  least  thirty 
years  of  age,  and  to  possess  an  independent  minimum 
income  of  ;^I30  per  annum  ;  and  the  functions  of  the 
chambers,  which  sat  and  voted  separately,  were 
strictly  confined  to  the  discussion  of  subjects  which 
might  be  submitted  to  them  by  the  Government  of 
the  day,  the  Parliament  being  convoked,  suspended, 
,or  dissolved,  entirely  at  the  will  of  the  sovereign. 
Practically  the  only  corporate  privilege  possessed  by 
the  Parliament  was  to  petition  the  Crown.  It  will  be 
seen  that  this  was  a  mere  mockery  of  an  assembly, 
with  no  initiative  or  legislative  power  whatever  ;  a 
ridiculous  anachronism  in  a  countr}'  which  had  once 
possessed  so  democratic  a  constitution  as  that  of  181 2. 
But,  withal,  it  was  accepted  gladly  as  an  instalment  of 


THE    CONSTITUTION   OF  l8j^.  303 

a  larger  measure  to  come  ;  and  as  a  pledge  that  the 
immovable  despotism  of  Fernando  was  really  aban- 

Some  of  the  discontent  of  the  Liberals  at 
home  being  thus  appeased,  the  ministry  was  in  a 
position  to  bespeak  friendships  for  the  Queen  abroad. 
Don  Carlos  had  thrown  in  his  lot  with  the  Portuguese 
pretender,  Dom  Miguel,  who  held  similar  views  to 
himself,  and  this  naturally  drew  England  to  the  side 
of  Cristina,  as  representing  a  cause  cognate  with  that 
of  Doiia  Maria  da  Gloria,  the  Portuguese  Queen. 
The  constitutional  king  of  the  French,  Louis  Philippe, 
was  also  opposed  to  the  absolutist  Bourbon,  Don 
Carlos  ;  and  a  treaty  was  settled  in  London  by  which 
Cristina  and  Maria  da  Gloria  were  to  join  their  forces 
against  the  two  ultra-Catholic  Conservative  Infantes, 
Carlos  and  Miguel,  whilst  England  was  to  aid  them 
with  a  navy,  and  France  was  to  give  moral  support. 
This  treaty  was  welcomed  by  Spanish  Liberals  more 
heartily  than  was  the  new  constitution,  for  it  secured 
for  their  country  the  alliance  of  the  two  great  consti- 
tutional Powers  of  the  West,  and  its  immediate  result 
was  the  abandonment  of  the  struggle  by  Dom  Miguel, 
and  the  departure  both  of  him  and  Don  Carlos  from 
the  Peninsula.! 

'  The  treaty  was  signed  in  April,  1834,  but  Don  Carlos  had  been 
hardly  pressed  by  the  Cristino  troops  before  then.  He  had  made  more 
than  one  attempt  to  win  over  by  his  personal  presence  General  Rodil's 
troops  on  the  Portuguese  frontier,  and  had  barely  escaped  with  his  life. 
Accompanied  by  his  family  he  was  hunted  from  town  to  town,  often 
taking  to  the  mountains  in  the  greatest  peril,  followed  by  the  Cristino 
troops.  With  the  signing  of  the  Palmerston  treaty  Don  Carlos'  posi- 
tion in  Portugal  became  impossible,  and  he  embarked  on  the  British 

304  ^A^   AND   ANARCHY. 

Only  a  day  or  two  after  Fernando's  death,  small 
and  partial  risings  had  taken  place  in  many  parts 
of  Spain — the  first  being  that  headed  by  the  post- 
master of  Talavera,  followed  by  revolts  in  Bilbao, 
Vitoria,  Logroiio,  Valencia,  and  others  ;  but  they  had 
mostly  been  overcome  without  difficulty  by  the 
Cristino  troops  and  the  leaders  shot.  In  the  Basque 
provinces,  however,  there  were  other  causes,  besides 
religious  fanaticism,  which  kept  the  revolt  alive. 
These  provinces,  peopled  by  a  race  quite  distinct 
from  the  Spaniards,  with  a  separate  language,  litera- 
ture, and  history,  had  never  formed  part  of  the 
Spanish  monarchy,  but  were  a  separate  domain,  of 
which  the  King  of  Spain  was  lord.  Any  attempt  to 
give  to  the  country  unified  parliamentary  institutions 
would  necessarily  assimilate  the  government  of  the 
Basque  provinces  to  the  rest  of  Spain,  and  this  was 
— and  still  is — bitterly  resented  by  them. 

Don  Carlos,  representing  the  old  system,  would 
naturally  maintain  the  autonomy  and  practical 
independence  of  the  provinces,  whilst  a  Liberal 
regime  would  merge  them  into  the  constitutional 
monarchy.  The  Basques,  therefore,  stood  by  Don 
Carlos  with  unconquerable  tenacity  almost  to  a  man. 
General  Sarsfield  reported  to  the  Queen's  Government 
that  he  must  have  80,000  men  to  hold  the  provinces, 

warship  Donegal  at  Lisbon  on  the  30th  of  May,  accompanied  by  the 
Bishop  of  Leon  and  a  few  generals,  but  leaving  his  360  officers  and  800 
soldiers  behind  him  as  prisoners  of  war.  General  Rodil,  the  Cristinij 
commander,  was  furious  at  the  rescue  of  Don  Carlos  by  the  English 
fleet,  and  protested  against  it  in  vain.  Don  Carlos  and  his  family 
arrived  in  London  in  June  ;  and,  as  will  be  seen  later,  escaped  "-q 
Spain  again  in  a  few  weeks. 

ur,   OfhticT  de  9a   Cava-Uric 


t4//er  a  s/JcfcA  taken  from  life.) 

3o6  tVAl?   AND   ANARCHY. 

but    this    was    impossible    and    General    Roclil    was 
appointed  in  his  stead. 

Thenceforward  throughout  Biscay  and  Navarre  it 
was  war  to  the  knife  between  Carlists  and  Cristinos, 
the  latter  at  first  being  better  organised  and  usually 
victorious  ;  but  the  former,  surefooted,  lithe  moun- 
taineers, were  only  dispersed  to  reassemble  immedi- 
ately in  the  almost  inaccessible  fastnesses  with  which 
they  alone  were  familiar.  At  this  juncture  a  military 
commander  of  the  first  order  came  to  the  front,  and 
until  the  day  of  his  death  remained  the  leading 
soldier  of  the  Carlist  ranks  ;  one  of  the  very  few 
great  men  of  action  which  Spain  has  produced  in 
this   century. 

Tomas  Zumalacarregui  was  a  native  of  the  Guipuz- 
coan  village  of  Ormastegui,  where  he  was  born  in 
1788,  the  son  of  a  notary,  and  fought  as  an  irregular 
all  through  the  War  of  Independence.  Even  then 
he  was  conspicuously  opposed  to  the  constitutional 
cause,  and  as  such  had  been  afterwards  employed  by 
Fernando  as  Governor  of  Ferrol,  from  which  post  he 
was  dismissed  by  Cea  Bermudez.  Soon  after  the 
death  of  the  King  he  offered  his  sword  to  Don  Carlos 
and  headed  his  little  force  in  the  Basque  provinces 
and  Navarre.  With  prodigious  energy  and  ability  he 
rapidly  turned  his  one  thousand  countrymen  into  a 
formidable  force  of  well  organised,  but  badly  armed, 
fighting-men  and  by  the  beginning  of  the  year  1834 
was  able  to  commence  active  offensive  operations 
in  Navarre  and  Guipuzcoa. 

The  legitimists  on  the  Continent  and  in  England 
had  been  busy  from  the  first  in  organising  diplomatic 


and  financial  support  for  the  Carlist  cause,  and  several 
cargoes  of  muskets  were  despatched  from  England — 
mostly  to  fall  into  the  hands  of  the  Cristinos — for  the 
purpose  of  arming  the  pretender's  levies  in  Spain. 
These  negotiations  were  continued  more  actively 
after  the  arrival  of  Don  Carlos  in  England  and 
the  successful  inauguration  of  the  campaign  by 
Zumalacarregui.  Amongst  the  pretender's  agents 
was  a  French  adventurer  of  doubtful  character 
named  Auguet  de  St.  Silvaint,  who  undertook  the 
difficult  task  of  smuggling  Don  Carlos  out  of  Eng- 
land to  join  his  army  in  Spain.  The  Infante  hi'mself 
was  tardy  and  irresolute,  a  man  of  no  ability  or 
character,  and  had  to  be  pushed  to  every  fresh  step 
b}'  his  wife  and  her  sister,  the  Princess  of  Beira,  the 
on!)'  men  of  the  family,  as  was  said  at  the  time  ;  but, 
at  last,  he  was  brought  to  see  that  further  delay  would 
be  fatal  to  his  cause,  and,  thanks  to  Auguet's  clever 
contrivance,  managed  to  escape  with  false  passports 
and  in  disguise,  to  join  Zumalacarregui  in  Navarre.^ 

He  found  that  the  genius  of  the  general  had 
turned  to  good  account  the  small  resources  which 
had  been  sent  him.  He  had  established  a 
regular  governing  junta  at  Elizondo  with  the 
Curate  Echevaria  at  its  head,  and  already  his 
force  consisted  of  twelve  battalions  of  infantry  and 

'  He  lived  whilst  in  London  at  Gloucester  Lodge,  Brompton,  where 
Canning  had  formerly  lived  ;  hut  his  disguise  was  effected  at  the  house 
of  a  French  legitimist  in  Welbeck  Street.  He  travelled  by  Brighton, 
Dieppe,  and  Paris,  arriving  at  Elizondo  in  Navarre  on  the  9th  of  July. 
He  was  supplied  with  funds  mainly  by  French  legitimists.  In  London 
he  was  only  visited  by  extreme  English  Tories  like  the  Duke  of 


four  regiments  of  cavalry  with  eighteen  field  guns  in 
Navarre ;  nine  battalions  of  infantry,  and  one  of 
guides  with  a  squadron  of  lancers  in  Biscay  ;  six 
battalions  of  infantry  and  four  of  guides  in  Alava, 
and  three  battalions  of  infantry  and  three  of  guides 
in  Guipuzcoa  ;  or  in  all  rather  over  35,000  troops. 
These  men  were  mostly  peasants  and  old  royalist 
volunteers,  fired  with  fanatical  zeal  by  the  priests  of 
their  country,  and  by  the  fear  of  losing  their  ancient 
autonomy.  They  had  been  hitherto  used  by  Zumala- 
carregui  in  incessant  harassing  attacks  on  outposts, 
and  places  weakly  held  by  the  Cristinos  ;  but  their 
familiarity  with  the  country,  their  boldness,  and, 
above  all,  their  mobility,  had  by  the  time  of  Don 
Carlos'  arrival  ensured  their  possession  of  a  large 
mountainous  district  of  Navarre  and  Guipuzcoa 
adjoining  the  French  frontier,  which  secured  a  safe 
retreat  in  case  of  need,  and  easy  communication 
with  the  hosts  of  legitimists  and  sympathisers 

Thus  began  seven  years  of  exhausting  civil 
war,  of  which  only  the  most  salient  events  can  be 
mentioned  here.  During  the  whole  of  the  autumn 
General  Rodil,  the  Queen's  commander,  expended 
his  men  and  resources  in  fruitless  marches  and 
countermarches,  endeavouring  to  catch  Don  Carlos, 
but  all  his  efforts  were  frustrated  by  the  skill  of 
Zumalacarregui  and  the  nature  of  the  country.  The 
Cristinos  fell  into  ambush  again  and  again,  and  were 
ingloriously  slaughtered,  whilst  the  Carlist  forces 
were  always  able  to  disperse  and  elude  pursuit  if 
outnumbered     The  Cristino  troops  lost  heart  and  con- 


fidence,  whilst  the  name  of  Zumalacarregui  infused 
unbounded  enthusiasm  in  his  followers  ;  and  with 
these  successes  the  Carlist  cause  grew  every  day 
stronger.  This  being  the  state  of  affairs  at  the  seat 
of  war,  we  will  now  glance  at  the  progress  of  events 
in  Madrid. 

On  the  24th  of  July,  1834,  the  Queen  Regent  opened 
in  state  the  new  Cortes,  the  members  of  both  Houses 
sitting  on  this  occasion  together,  and  from  the  first  it 
was  seen  that  this  was,  indeed,  but  a  shadow  of  the 
constitutional  Government  which  had  been  the 
dream  in  their  exile  of  so  many  of  the  distinguished 
members  of  the  elective  chamber.  Once  more  the 
curse  of  unchecked  eloquence  and  political  vehe- 
mence proved  how  difficult  it  was  to  enfranchise, 
even  partially,  a  people  which  had  been  kept  in 
leading-strings  so  long.  Cholera  in  a  deadly  form  was 
devastating  whole  populations,  and  Madrid  itself  was 
panic-stricken  by  the  plague.  Some  of  the  ignorant 
mob-orators  in  the  capital  maddened  the  people  by 
saying  that  the  mortality  arose  from  the  poisoning  of 
the  water  by  the  friars — and  a  boy  was  seen  empty- 
ing a  packet  of  powder  in  the  fountain  of  the  Puerta 
del  Sol.  A  cry  for  vengeance  arose  ;  monasteries  of 
Jesuits  were  invaded,  and  all  the  inmates  butchered. 
Over  a  hundred  friars  were  murdered  in  cold  blood 
in  the  capital,  whilst  the  authorities  stood  by  and  did 

The  flood  of  oratory  rose  higher  and  higher 
whilst  these  abuses  went  on.  The  reply  to  the 
speech  from  the  throne  was  discussed  ad  infinituvi 
in  the  lower  House,  with  a  vehement  determination 


to  extort  from  the  Government  farther  concessions 
to  the  Liberal  principles  ;  and  after  a  m.onth's  talk  a 
sort  of  "  Bill  of  Rights  "  was  presented  to  the  Queen, 
in  the  form  of  a  petition,  demanding  individual 
freedom  and  equality  before  the  law,  the  inviolability 
of  property,  liberty  of  the  press,  full  ministerial 
responsibility,  and  much  else  of  the  same  sort,  all  of 
which  could  hardly  be  refused  by  Cristina  in  the 
position  in  which  she  found  herself  The  next  step 
was  to  rehabilitate  all  the  functionaries  and  officers 
who  had  been  appointed  by  the  constitutional 
Government  of  1820-23,  and  this  expensive  measure, 
although  gravely  questioned  by  many,  could  not 
logically  be  refused  without  accusing  the  former 
Liberal   regime  of  illegality. 

The  financial  condition  of  the  country  had  once 
more  become  desperate ;  and  if  Don  Carlos  was 
to  be  beaten  money  must  be  obtained.  It  was 
found  that  the  annual  net  revenue  accruing  to  the 
country  was  five  million  sterling,  whilst  the  esti- 
mated expenditure  for  the  year  was  eight  millions  ; 
and  it  was  proposed  to  consolidate  the  various 
foreign  debts  of  the  Government  and  obtain  a 
further  loan  abroad.  In  order  to  raise  the  credit 
of  the  country  the  ministry  proposed  to  recognise 
all  loans  raised  in  the  name  of  former  Governments; 
but  here  they  met  with  determined  resistance  from 
the  lower  House  with  regard  to  a  loan  contracted 
by  the  revolutionary  absolutist  Regency  of  Urgel  for 
the  purpose  of  overthrowing  the  Constitutionists 
and  releasing  Fernando.  In  this  matter,  again,  the 
popular  chamber  had  its  way,  and  it  was  clear  now 


that  timid  Martinez  de  la  Rosa  by  the  creation, 
even  of  this  poor  shadow  of  representation,  had 
called  into  being  a  force  which  he  could  not  control, 
\nd  which  would  not  stop  in  its  career  until  the 
^enfranchisement  of  the  citizen  was   complete. 

Every  project  of  the  Government  was  surrounded 
by  safeguards  that  the  deputies  resented  ;  the  fear 
of  creating  a  popular  armed  force  to  combat  the 
Carlists  aroused  the  anger  of  the  people,  and  the 
proposal  to  endow  the  royal  family  with  the  enormous 
civil  list  of  ;^545,ooo  ^  per  annum,  an  eighth  of  the 
whole  national  revenue,  added  to  the  distrust  with 
which  Martinez  was  regarded.  There  were  other 
reasons  which  attracted  the  unflattering  attention  of 
the  people  to  Cristina.  Immediately  after  Fernando's 
death  it  had  been  noticed  that  a  handsome  young 
guardsman  named  Muhoz  was  constantly  by  her 
side,  and  at  the  first  review  she  held  after  her  return 
from  the  Pardo,  where  she  and  her  daughter  had 
been  secluded  from  the  cholera,  the  lieges  were 
scandalised  at  seeing  the  favourite  riding  by  her  side 
as  an  equal.  Cristina  was  still  a  bright,  buxom 
widow  under  thirty,  and  the  Madrilenos  began  to 
grumble  that  this  was  Godoy  over  again.  Cries  of 
"  Viva  la  Libertad  !  "  were  now  sometimes  raised  as 
the  Regent  and  the  little  Queen  rode  through  the 
Prado  instead  of  "  Viva  la  Reina  !  "  as  was  expected. 

In  the  meantime  the  war  was  going  badly  for  the 
Queen  in   the  north.      Zumalacarregui's   ability  and 

^  The  Chamber  cut  the  amount  down  to  £\y:>,ooQ,  of  which 
;^290,ooo  was  for  the  four-year-old  Queen,  ^124,000  for  the  Regent, 
and  ;i^36,ooo  for  the  Infante  Don  Francisco. 

312  IV.47?   AND   ANARCHY. 

the  enthusiasm  of  his  men  had  worn  out  the  Cristino 
troops  ;  and  Aragon  and  Valencia  had  become 
largely  infected  with  the  absolutist  fervour.  Zumala- 
carregui's  plan  was  to  occupy  the  whole  of  the 
territory  north  of  the  Ebro  ;  and  although  the  larger 
fortresses  were  able  to  withstand  him,  the  semi- 
bankruptcy  of  the  Madrid  Government  and  Martinez 
de  la  Rosa's  distrust  of  the  people  made  it  impos- 
sible for  the  Queen's  forces  to  do  more  than  stand  on 
the  defensive.  This  irregular  guerrilla  warfare  of 
mobile  bands,  directed  by  a  master  of  strategy 
against  bodies  of  hastily  levied  and  badly  provided 
troops,  led  in  the  old  way,  might,  it  was  seen,  be 
carried  on  for  an  indefinite  time  ;  and  at  length  the 
signal  defeat  in  rapid  succession  of  the  Cristino 
generals  O'Doyle  and  Osma  near  Vitoria  exhausted 
the  patience  of  the  Queen's  friends. 

In  this  extremity  one  name  sprang  to  every  lip. 
If  there  was  a  man  left  in  Spain  who  could  infuse 
courage  and  enthusiasm  into  the  fainting  hearts  of 
his  countrymen,  it  was  the  erstwhile  condemned 
exile  Francisco  Mina,  the  guerrilla  hero  of  Navarre, 
who  had  fought  the  French  and  reactionaries  with 
equal  vigour.  But  Mina  was  a  democrat  of  demo- 
crats, and  Martinez  de  la  Rosa  trembled  at  the 
idea  of  putting  into  his  hands  forces  which  might, 
if  he  chose,  make  him  master  of  Spain.  But  there 
was  no  alternative,  and  Mina  was  appointed  to  face 
Zumalacarregui.  His  very  presence  in  Navarre,  and 
his  stirring  words,  gave  another  aspect  to  affairs 
for  a  short  time.  But  he  was  no  longer  the  Mina  of 
old.     Suffering    and    hardship  had   broken  even   his 


314  ^-4^   AND   ANARCHY. 

iron  frame,  and  he  could  only  direct  the  campaign 
from  a  sick-bed.  Mobility,  once  his  strong-  point, 
was  now  impossible  to  him  :  all  the  province,  more- 
over, was  against  him  instead  of  being  on  his  side, 
as  it  had  been  against  the  French.  He  found  on 
the  very  day  that  he  assumed  command  that  not 
even  fuel  to  cook  the  rations  was  obtainable,  so  close 
was  Zumalacarregui's  blockade  of  Pamplona  :  every- 
thing, indeed,  was  wanting  ;  and  the  Government  of 
timid  doctrinaires  and  orators  in  Madrid  was  as 
unfit,  as  it  was  unable,  to  provide  for  a  great  national 

The  Cristino  force  consisted  of  three  brigades  in 
Navarre  under  Generals  Lorenzo,  Cordoba,  and 
Oraa,  and  two  in  Guipuzcoa  under  Espartero  and 
O'Donnell,  the  total  number  of  men  being  25,000  ; 
an  utterly  insufficient  force  to  occupy  the  provinces 
and  hold  the  long  line  of  the  Ebro.  In  answer 
to  Mina's  prayer  for  more  men  the  Government 
could  only  send  him,  as  he  wrote,  "a  naked  battalion, 
without  officers,  without  instruction,  and  mostly 
without  arms."  Under  these  circumstances  it  was 
not  surprising  that  Mina  should  be  no  more  suc- 
cessful than  his  predecessors,  and  from  his  couch  of 
constant  sickness  he  fervently  prayed  to  be  relieved 
from  his  impossible  task  (April,  1835),  and  surrendered 
his  command  to  General  Valdes. 

These  repeated  disasters,  and  the  ever-widening 
breach  between  the  Radical  Chamber  of  Deputies 
and  the  ministry,  made  the  position  of  Martinez 
de  la  Rosa  daily  more  untenable,  and  the  appoint- 
ment of  General  Llauder,   a  staunch  reactionist,  as 


Minister  of  War  completed  the  unpopularity  of  the 
Government.  Martinez  from  the  first  had  made 
light  of  the  Carlist  rising,  and  his  own  words  were 
now  turned  against  him.  "  If  it  was  so  small  a  matter, 
why  did  he  not  end  it?"  asked  his  enemies,  or  was  he, 
perchance,  in  secret  treaty  with  Don  Carlos  himself? 
All  these  doubts  and  discontents  culminated  in 
Madrid  on  the  night  of  the  17th  of  January,  1835, 
when  a  part  of  the  garrison — the  Aragonese  regi- 
ment— under  Adjutant  Cardero,  rose  in  mutiny,  and 
took  possession  of  the  great  post-office — now  the 
Home  Office— in  the  Puerta  del  Sol,  and  at  the 
summons  of  the  Captain-General  of  Castile,  Canterac, 
to  surrender,  shot  the  latter  dead  in  the  street.  When 
the  Government  saw  that  the  rest  of  the  parties  to 
the  plot  failed  to  move  they  overcame  their  first 
terror,  concentrated  the  whole  of  the  troops  in  the 
capital  in  the  Puerta  del  Sol,  and  laid  siege  to  the 
great  red  brick  building  in  which  the  mutineers  were 
isolated.  After  some  hours  of  musketry  attack  and 
defence  on  the  building,  in  which  it  was  clear  that 
the  mutineers  had  the  sympathy  of  a  large  number 
of  the  people,  the  Government  was  forced  to  con- 
fess its  weakness  by  allowing  Cardero  and  his  men, 
at  three  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  to  march  out  with 
all  the  honours  of  war,  and  without  punishment. 
y\fter  this  exhibition  of  impotence  the  ministry  of 
Martinez  de  la  Rosa  lost  all  moral  influence.  Its 
resistance  to  the  extension  of  parliamentary  govern- 
ment, its  efforts  to  render  the  Bill  of  Rights  inopera- 
tive, and  the  ill  success  with  which  it  conducted  the 
war,  made  it  impossible  for  it  to  withstand  the  storm 
of  unpopularity  which  overwhelmed  it. 

3l6  IVAJ?   AND   ANARCHY. 

Valdes,  the  new  Commander-in-chief  in  the  north 
had  been  beaten  by  Zumalacarregui  at  Amezcoas  in 
his  first  battle  (April  21st),  and  every  day  the  war 
assumed  a  more  ferocious  and  sanguinary  character. 
So  terrible,  indeed,  were  the  atrocities  committed  on 
both  sides,  that  the  English  Government  sent  Lord 
Elliot  and  Colonel  Gurwood  to  remonstrate  with 
Zumalacarregui  and  Valdes  on  the  subject,  with  the 
result  that  an  agreement  was  signed  regularising  the 
war  and  providing  that  the  lives  of  prisoners  should 
be  spared.  The  position  of  the  Carlist  cause  was 
now  most  favourable.  Only  England,  France,  and 
Portugal  had  recognised  Isabel  II.,  and  the  northern 
Powers  were  ready  to  acknowledge  her  opponent, 
if,  in  addition  to  the  territory  he  held,  he  could  gain 
possession  of  a  fortress  of  the  first  class  ;  in  which 
case,  also,  a  loan  which  Don  Carlos  was  nesfotiatinGT 
could  be  concluded.  Against  the  advice  of  his  great 
general  the  Pretender  therefore  determined  to  attack 

The  place  was  enormously  strong,  with  a  garrison  of 
4,000  regulars  besides  militia  and  forty  great  guns, 
and  its  reduction  was  the  most  important  task  which 
the  Carlists  had  yet  undertaken.  On  the  loth  of 
June,  1835,  the  artillery  attack  was  opened,  and  in 

'  Zumalacarregui's  plan  was  to  march  upon  Vitoria  and  Burgos, 
and  so  to  Madrid,  and  if  Don  Carlos  had  acted  on  it  at  the  time,  and 
had  consented  to  some  sort  of  representative  government,  he  would 
have  been  welcomed,  for  utter  confusion  reigned  in  the  capital,  and  a 
saviour  of  society  was  urgently  wanted.  But  he  was  as  slow,  stupid, 
and  obstinate  as  Fernando  had  been  ;  he  was  surrounded  by  besotted 
reactionaries  and  friars,  and  he  missed  this,  his  great  chance,  even  as 
is  grandson  did  in  similar  circumstances  thirty-eight  years  afterwards. 

P/RST   SIEGE    OF  BILBAO.  ^\y 

the  afternoon  of  the  14th  two  battah'ons  of  CarHst 
infantry  marched  up  with  incredible  boldness  to 
storm  the  small  breach  that  had  been  made  in 
the  formidable  walls.  The  defenders  themselves 
were  thunderstruck  at  such  foolhardy  rashness,  and 
called  out  before  firing,  "  Where  are  you  going  to, 
you  stupid  Navarrese  ?  "  "  To  death,"  was  the  true 
reply,  for  most  of  the  heroes  died  in  the  breach, 
and  the  rest  fell  back  only  when  Zumalacarregui 
sternly  ordered  them  to  do  so.  The  next  day 
(June  15th)  the  Carlist  general  ascended  to  an  upper 
balcony  of  the  Begona  palace  in  the  outskirts,  which 
commanded  a  view  of  the  city,  in  order  to  note  the 
point  where  a  new  breach  and  assault  might  be 
effected.  The  balcony  was  fully  exposed  to  the 
musketry  fire,  and  Zumalacarregui's  person  and 
costume  were  easily  distinguishable  by  the  defenders. 
His  presence  attracted  a  shower  of  bullets,  one  of 
which  penetrated  the  calf  of  the  right  leg.  He 
made  light  of  his  wound,  but  it  incapacitated  him 
from  command  ;  and  it  was  arranged  that  the 
general  should  be  carried  to  his  own  province  to 
recover.  But  the  Spanish  surgeons  treated  him 
ignorantly,  and  in  defiance  of  the  English  medical 
man  who  was  summoned,  refused  to  extract  the 
bullet  until  inflammation  and  fever  set  in,  and 
Zumalacarregui  died  in  the  small  village  of  Segama, 
in  Navarre,  on  the  23rd  of  June,  1835.  ^^  ^^'^s 
the  only  man  of  real  note  and  genius  which  the 
war  produced,  and  his  loss  was  an  irreparable  one 
for  Don  Carlos.  He  was,  indeed,  too  great  for 
his  surroundings,  and  was  intensely  unpopular  with 

3l8  WAI?   AND  ANARCHY. 

the  narrow-minded  ministers  who  guided  the  Pre- 
tender ;  and  even  the  latter  was  jealous  of  his 
success  and  power. 

Valdes,  outgeneralled  entirely,  and  hopeless  of 
relieving  Bilbao,  retired  on  to  the  Ebro,  and  threw 
up  his  command,  ordering  his  subordinate  Generals, 
Espartero  and  Latre,  also  to  fall  back.  But  at  this 
juncture  the  inevitable  man  of  action  on  the  Cristino 
side  came  to  the  front.  To  both  Valdes  and  his 
successor.  La  Hera,  Baldomero  Espartero  gave  the 
same  reply.  He  declined  to  retreat,  and  Bilbao 
must  be  relieved.^  It  was  something,  at  this  time 
of  distraction  and  confusion,  that  there  was,  at  all 
events,  one  Spaniard  who  knew  his  own  mind,  and 
was  bold  enough  to  stand  by  his  opinion.  Espartero 
was  a  man  of  no  great  ability  or  education,  but  he 
was  as  honest  as  was  compatible  with  his  vast 
ambition,  and  as  firm  as  a  rock.  In  this  blackest 
hour  of  the  Queen's  cause  he  emerged  from  out  of 
the  welter  of  sloth,  ineptitude,  and  base  corruption, 
and  by  sheer  force  of  character  saved  the  crown  of 
Isabel   II. 

Espartero's  determination  decided  the  question 
that  Bilbao  should  be  relieved  at  all  costs.  The 
townspeople  and  garrison  were  fighting  bravely,  and 
the  death  of  Zumalacarregui  had  deprived  the  Carlists 
of  energy  and  spirit ;  the  appearance,  therefore,  of 
the    Queen's   army  turned  the    scale,  and  the  siege 

'  The  following  energetic  words  are  contained  in  Espartero's  letter 
to  his  chief:  "  Waver  not  a  moment  !  But  if,  as  I  hope  will  not  be 
the  case,  you  neglect  the  advice  of  your  friend,  the  latter  will  cast  aside 
his  general  s  sasli,  and  will  loathe  the  name  of  Spaniard,  whilst  you  will 
be  for  ever  sunk  in  infamy. " 


of  Bilbao  was  raised  in  July,  1835.  This  was  the  first 
great  blow  to  the  Carlist  cause.  The  Pretender 
and  his  agents  were  all  at  discord  with  each  other 
respecting  his  loan  transactions,  and  already  a  con- 
siderable number  of  those  who  had  espoused  his 
cause  were  disgusted  at  the  impenetrable  stupidit}' 
of  the  Carlist  ministers,  who  refused  to  make  the 
slightest  concession  to  modern  ideas  or  to  acknow- 
ledge the  possibility  of  conciliation.  Don  Carlos 
himself  was  as  stupid  as  the  friars  who  surrounded 
him,  and  now  that  the  overbearing  Dona  Francisca 
was  dead  there  was  no  one  to  stir  him  to  sustained 
action,  or  to  remind  him  that  he  was  in  the  nine- 
teenth century  and  not  in  the  sixteenth. 

All  these  circumstances  turned  the  tide  of  Carlist 
success  ;  but  the  improved  outlook  of  the  Queen's 
cause  could  not  save  Martinez  de  la  Rosa,  who  was 
now  quite  at  issue  with  the  Cortes  which  he  himself 
had  called  into  being.  The  ministry  therefore 
resigned  in  July,  and  the  Finance  Minister,  Count 
de  Toreno,  accepted  the  difficult  task  of  carrying 
on  the  Government.  Martinez  de  la  Rosa  was  a 
poet,  a  fastidious  gentleman,  and  an  honest  man  ; 
but,  like  so  many  of  his  countrymen,  he  was  carried 
away  with  his  torrential  eloquence,  and  confused 
words  for  deeds.  A  Liberal  by  conviction,  he  saw 
better  than  most  men  how  apt  Spain  was  to  rush 
to  the  abyss  of  license  with  the  slightest  enfranchise- 
ment of  her  institutions,  and  in  vain  endeavoured 
to  skid  the  coach  whilst  he  was  driving  it.  The 
verdict  upon  him  must  be  that  he  was  an  imprac- 
tical   minister,  who    thought    that   he    might    satisfy 

320  ivAj?  and  anarchy. 

eager  Liberals  by  a  hollow  pretence  of  enfranchise- 
ment, whilst  reconciling  reactionaries  by  an  adherence 
to  forgotten  forms  and  names. 

Count  de  Toreno  had  been  that  fiery  young  demo- 
crat who  had  first  bespoke  the  aid  of  England  in 
the  great  struggle  for  Spanish  independence,  but  he, 
too,  had  learnt  much  in  suffering,  poverty,  and  exile. 
He  was  clever  and  facile,  and  had  been  popular, 
but  his  acceptance  of  the  Finance  Ministry  in 
Martinez's  Government  had  caused  him  also  to  be 
looked  at  askance  by  the  Liberals  of  the  chamber. 
He  sought  to  win  them  over  by  appointing  some 
Radical  colleagues,  especially  Juan  Alvarez  Mendi- 
zabal,  who  had  done  so  much  to  secure  the  victory 
of  constitutionism  in  Portugal,  and  was  now  forming 
an  English  legion  to  aid  Cristina.  Mendizabal  was 
of  Jewish  origin,  and  was  in  business  in  London 
when  he  was  appointed  to  the  Ministry  of  Finance 
in  Toreno's  Government,  but  before  he  arrived  events 
forced  his  colleagues  to  take  a  step  which  he  had 
been  advocating  for  years,  namely,  the  re-expulsion 
of  the  Jesuits  from  Spain,  and  the  suppression  of  all 
monasteries  occupied  by  less  than  twelve  brethren. 
The  measure  was  wrung  from  the  Government  by 
the  attacks  upon  religious  houses  and  the  murder 
of  monks  by  the  mob  in  Zaragoza  and  elsewhere 
early  in  July,  but  already  the  flame  had  caught, 
and  the  concession  to  revolutionary  demands  came 
too  late. 

On  the  26th  of  July  a  terrible  outburst  took 
place  in  Barcelona.  "  Down  with  the  friars  ! "  rang 
from    street    to    street,    as    one    sacred    retreat    after 


another  was  stormed  and  burnt,  the  inmates  being 
slaughtered  in  cold  blood.  Llauder,  the  reactionary 
Captain-General,  himself  threatened  with  death,  fled  ; 
and  his  second  in  command,  Bassa,  also  a  Conserva- 
tive, endeavoured  to  crush  the  revolt.  This  aroused 
the  Catalans  to  fury.  Hitherto  the  townspeople  as  a 
whole  had  looked  on  ;  now  they  flocked  from  shop 
and  factory  into  the  streets,  armed  with  such  weapons 
as  they  might  seize.  The  Urban  Militia  joined  the 
populace  ;  Bassa  was  summoned  to  surrender,  and 
at  first  refused.  The  palace  was  invaded,  Bassa 
shot  after  he  had  promised  to  submit,  his  corpse 
dragged  through  the  streets,  and  finally  burnt  on  a 
great  furnace  of  Government  archives  and  other 
propert}-.  The  statue  of  Fernando  was  cast  down, 
and  amidst  frantic  cries  of  "Viva  la  Libertad  !  Viva 
Isabel  II.!"  tlie  effigy  of  his  little  daughter  was 
raised  on  the  empty  pedestal ;  and  then  the  blind 
mob  sated  their  fury  by  destroying  machinery, 
sacking  and  burning  as   they  went. 

A  revolutionary  assembly  was  elected  by  the 
people  when  some  amount  of  tranquillity  had  been 
restored,  which  assumed  the  supreme  rule  of  the 
province.  The  rest  of  Cataluna  joined,  and  Andalusia 
followed.  The  friars  everywhere  were  hunted  down, 
the  Militia,  now  called  National,  was  re-organised, 
and  a  demand  thundered  to  Madrid  that  liberty  and 
equality  of  citizenship  should  be  frankly  acknow- 
ledged, and  that  a  really  representative  system 
should  be  devised  by  an  elected  constituent  assembly. 
By  the  end  of  August,  1835,  there  were  only  two 
dominant  powers  in  Spain — Carlism  and  the  Revolu- 



tion.  The  Government  of  Madrid  with  the  Queen 
Regent  were  obliged,  out  of  fear,  to  disarm  their 
own  miHtia  in  the  capital,  and  anarchy  reigned 
supreme  over  all.  Toreno  and  his  ministers  issued 
threatening  manifestoes  in  the  name  of  the  Queen, 
and  declared  all  authority  but  their  own  illegal,  but 
no  notice  was  taken  of  them. 

The  revolution  was  at  its  height  when  Mendizabal 
arrived  from  London  early  in  September,  and  in  his 
first  interview  with  Cristina  he  told  her  clearly  that  he 
would  have  no  part  in  a  ministry  whose  only  policy 
was  resistance  and  drift.  Events  must  be  faced,  and 
a  strong  course  taken  or  all  would  be  lost.  Some  of 
the  ministers  were  still  for  fighting  a  hopeless  battle, 
but  Toreno,  glad  to  surrender  the  helm,  promptly 
made  way  for  Mendizabal,  who  summarised  his 
proposed  policy  in  the  words :  "  Oblivion,  respect, 
reparation,  and  reform."  He  lost  no  time.  In  an 
eloquent  letter  to  the  Queen  he  told  her  of  his 
labours  and  sufferings  in  exile,  of  the  miseries  and 
disappointment  of  the  country  at  the  grudging 
measures  of  reform  which  had  been  doled  out  to  it, 
the  need  for  ending  the  civil  war,  and,  above  all,  for 
devising  a  sound  representative  and  financial  system 
on  the  model  of  Great  Britain,  in  which  the  rights  of 
sovereign  and  people  should  be  equally  defined. 

The  wise,  bold  words  of  Mendizabal  threw  oil 
upon  the  troubled  waters.  Everywhere  outside  of 
the  Carlist  occupation  the  Queen's  Government  once 
more  gained  sway.  Liberty  of  the  press  was  decreed, 
the  National  Militia  was  rehabilitated,  and  the  whole 
of  the  monkish   orders    rigidly  suppressed  (October 


iith).i  All  the  insurrectionists  were  pardoned,  and 
every  unmarried  male  Spaniard  between  the  ages 
of  eighteen  and  forty-five  was  required  to  place 
himself  at  disposal  of  the  Government,  to  fight  the 
Carlists,  or  pay  a  fine  of  ^40,  a  measure  which  at 
once  provided  half  a  million  sterling  in  cash  and 
100,000  men. 

Once  more  Spain  was  under  the  rule  of  a  man 
who  was  not  afraid  of  democracy ;  the  electoral 
"  Statute "  of  Martinez  de  la  Rosa  was  considered 
no  longer  sufficient,  and  another  representative 
Constitution  was  to  be  invented  to  replace  it.  The 
Constitution  of  181 2  had  failed  to  satisfy  national 
needs  because  it  was  too  wide  ;  that  of  1834  because 
it  was  too  narrow  :  Mendizabal  now  tried  to  strike 
the  happy  mean.  Both  in  the  Chamber  and  in 
the  country  there  were  many  who  feared  further 
enfranchisement,  and  to  strengthen  his  hands  the 
minister  demanded  from  the  former  an  absolute  vote 
of  confidence,  which  he  obtained,  and  then  began  the 
battle  of  the  franchise.  The  proposals  of  the  ministry 
were  extremely  moderate,  but  even  so  they  were 
defeated  by  the  intrigues  of  a  majority  of  Conserva- 
tives led  by  Martinez  de  la  Rosa,  who  demanded 
direct  voting  and  small  constituencies  with  one 
member  each,  rather  than  large  provinces  with 
several  members.  Mendizabal  then  did  what  it 
would   have   been    wiser    to  have    done    at    first ;  he 

'  Notwithstanding  all  the  previous  attacks  upon  the  orders,  there  were 
still  3,140  religious  houses  with  53,000  inmates,  of  whom  36,000  were 
friars.  The  whole  of  their  property  was  ordered  to  be  sold  by  Mendi- 
zabal in  February,  1836. 

324  WAJ?   AND   ANARCHY. 

abandoned  the  attempt   to  reconcile  his  opponents 
by  half  measures,  and  dissolved  the  "  Estates." 

Fortified  by  his  vote  of  confidence,  he  now-  set 
about  the  work  of  Radical  administrative  reform. 
All  claims  against  the  Government  were  ordered 
to  be  investigated  and  consolidated.  The  National 
Debt  already  reached  ^^84,000,000,  and  a  great 
measure  for  gradually  paying  off  the  whole  was 
devised.  This  plan  has  been  bitterly  attacked  as 
unjust  and  unwise,  and  from  a  financial  point  of 
view  it  certainly  was  open  to  grave  objection.  As, 
however,  it  is  the  principal  measure  associated  with 
Mendizabal's  name,  it  may  be  briefly  described. 
All  the  property  of  the  clergy  and  monastic  orders, 
except  that  devoted  to  charity,  was  declared  national 
property  (March,  1836),  and  sold  by  tender  in 
small  lots, I  one-fifth  of  the  purchase-money  being 
paid  down,  and  the  rest  in  instalments  extending 
over  eight  or  sixteen  years,  the  payment  being 
made  either  in  stock  of  the  National  Debt,  or  in 
money,  which  the  Government  would  apply  to  the 
purchase  of  stock  to  be  cancelled.  However  neces- 
sary the  measure  may  have  been  from  a  political 
motive — for  the  monastic  orders  had  certainly  used 
their  wealth  in  opposition  to  liberalism^ — it  placed 
enormous  power  in  the  hands  of  Bourse  specu- 
lators, of  which  they  took  full  advantage,  to  rig  the 
prices  of  the  Government  stocks  to  the  detriment 
of  the  small  people  who  were  obliged  to  buy  it  at 
certain  times  to  pay  their  instalments.     Mendizabal 

'  It  should  be  mentioned  that  the  Government  undertook  to  provide 
for  the  Hving  of  all  the  friars  and  clergy  who  were  dispossessed. 


himself  recognised  this  evil,  and,  at  a  subsequent 
period,  substituted  the  uniform  payment  of  cash 
instalments  extending  over  twenty-five  years.  Not- 
withstanding all  this,  however,  and  the  disturbed  state 
of  the  country,  twenty-four  millions  sterling  worth  of 
monastic  property  was  sold  from  1836  to  1844,  ^"d  a 
hundred  millions  sterling  of  national  indebtedness 
and  expenditure  cancelled  therewith. 

When  Mendizabal  met  the  new  Cortes  (still 
elected  under  Martinez's  "  Statute ")  at  the  end 
of  March  he  found  himself  with  a  great  Radical 
majority,  but  it  soon  became  evident  that  his 
measures  had  offended  some  of  those  who  had  been 
his  friends,  and  a  bitter  personal  opposition  was 
raised  against  him,  particularly  by  Isturiz,  with  whom 
he  fought  a  duel,  and  Alcala  Galiano.  He  had  with 
him  the  enormous  majority  of  both  chambers,  and 
the  country,  but  another  power  besides  personal 
jealousy  was  plotting  his  downfall.  It  will  readih- 
be  supposed  that  Cristina  looked  with  no  sympathy 
upon  a  Radical  minister  who  really  had  the  courage 
of  his  opinions.  She  had  surrounded  herself  with 
a  camarilla  almost  as  bad  as  that  of  her  former 
husband.  Munoz,  to  whom  it  was  evident  she  was 
now  married — she  lived  with  him  indeed  for  the 
rest  of  her  life,  and  had  a  very  large  family  by  him 
— wisely  avoided  playing  the  part  of  a  Godoy,  and 
kept  politically  in  the  background  ;  but  most  of 
those  who  influenced  the  Regent  were  personal 
favourites,  milliners,  court  ladies,  priests,  and  palace 
functionaries,  who  naturally  took  the  ultra-royalist 
view;     Mendizabal  found  his  proposals  resisted  and 


hampered  at  every  turn  by  the  palace  set  ;  and 
insisted  upon  retiring  (May  15,  1836).  The  Queen 
had  a  ministry,  headed  by  Isturiz,  ready  to  replace 
him.  The  Cortes  protested,  stormed,  and  went  far 
beyond  its  only  legal  right,  namely,  that  of  petition 
to  the  Crown,  passing  votes  of  censure,  and  the 
like ;  but  the  "  Statute "  gave  the  sovereign  the 
whip  hand ;  and  in  the  midst  of  its  indignation 
the  Parliament  was  dissolved,  >" 

The  war  in  the  north,  in  the  meanwhile,  continued 
without  cessation.  The  English  legion  of  10,000 
men,  under  General  De  Lacy  Evans,  whose  principal 
headquarters  were  St.  Sebastian,  together  with  French 
and  Portuguese  auxiliary  forces,  now  raised  the 
number  of  Cristino  troops  to  80,000  men  ;  and  the 
activity  of  Mendizabal  in  raising  money  and  troops 
had  distinctly  revived  the  hopes  of  the  Queen's  party, 
Constitutionists  in  England  and  France  looked 
even  with  greater  disfavour  upon  Carlism,  particularly 
in  view  of  Don  Carlos'  political  impracticability, 
and  his  iniquitous  "  Durango  decree "  ordering  that 
foreigners  taken  prisoners  should  be  shot.'  All  the 
principal  fortresses  were  still  held  by  the  Queen's 
troops,  even  those  of  Navarre  and  the  Basque 
provinces,  although  another  heroic  attempt  had  been 
made  by  the  Carlists  to  win  Bilbao  ;  an  attempt 
which  this  time  was  within  an  ace  of  success  when 
it  was  frustrated  (October,  1835)  by  the  English 
bluejackets  under  Lord  John  Hay,  But  another 
chief,  of  almost   the  first  rank  as  a  guerrillero,  had 

'  The  consequence  of  this  was  that  there  was  no  quarter  for  the 
Enghsh  legionaries. 


arisen  on  the  Carlist  side  who  in  the  open  pushed 
the  Cristinos  hard.  Ramon  Cabrera,  supreme  now 
in.Aragon,  had  managed  to  perfect  the  organisation 
in  that  province,  and  by  his  activity,  cruelty,^  and 
skill,  kept  the  Cristinos  mostly  shut  up  behind  the  walls 
of  their  fortresses,  even  Espartero  and  Cordoba  being 
beaten  in  the  open  on  many  occasions.  The  suffer- 
ings of  the  troops  on  both  sides  were  heartrending. 
The  British  legion  particularly,  unpaid,  ill-fed,  and 
strangers,  devastated  by  typhus,  and  shot  without 
mercy  if  captured,  passed  through  the  most  terrible 
privations — particularly  in  their  march  from  Bilbao 
to  Vitoria.  Officers  and  men  died  or  deserted  by 
the  hundred  almost  daily,  and  soon  the  number  was 
reduced  to  less  than  half  the  original  muster. 

In  the  early  spring  of  1836  the  Carlist  forces  made 
a  determined  effort  to  carry  St.  Sebastian  by  siege, 
and  on  May  5th  Evans  effected  a  successful  sortie 
with  7,000  men,  whilst  Lord  John  Hay  with  two 
English  warships,  bombarded  the  key  to  the  Carlist 
position.  The  fighting  was  sanguinary  in  the  ex- 
treme, no  quarter  being  given  on  either  side,  but 
finally  the  Carlists  gave  way,  and  raised  the  siege. 
This  was  a  great  blow  to  the  Carlists,  but  still  the 
Cristino  Government  were  apparently  as  far  as  ever 
from  completely  subduing  so  formidable  a  revolt, 
in  which  practically  all  the  Basque  provinces  and 
Navarre  were  against  them,  as  well  as  a  large  portion 

'  As  some  indication  of  the  ferocity  on  both  sides  it  may  be  men- 
tioned that  the  Cristino  General  Nogueras  ordered  Cabrera's  old  mother 
to  be  shot  in  P'ebruary,  1836,  in  reprisal  for  his  cruelty,  and,  as  may 
be  supposed,  Cabrera  amply  avenged  himself. 

328  IVJ/^   AND   ANARCHY. 

of  Aragon.  It  had  been  a  favourite  scheme  of 
Isturiz,  the  present  Prime  Minister,  and  the  moderates, 
to  invite  Louis  PhiHppe  to  restore  order  in  the  north 
of  Spain,  and  the  citizen  king  had  Hstened  willingly 
to  approaches  which  might  secure  for  him  a  future 
claim  upon  Spain's  gratitude.  Lord  Palmerston, 
however,  with  Villiers,  the  English  ambassador  in 
Madrid,  had  their  hands  upon  the  intrigue,  and 
were  sure  of  the  sturdy  co-operation  of  Mendizabal. 
So  long  as  the  latter  was  in  power  the  plan  was 
frustrated,  and  when  Isturiz  became  Prime  Minister 
the  f>ench  king's  affairs  were  not  propitious  to  the 
sending  of  an  army  into  Spain,  but  a  large  body 
of  Cristinos  was  allowed  to  cross  a  portion  of  French 
territory,  for  the  purpose  of  strengthening  the  Spanish 
fortresses  on  the  Biscay  coast. 

Even  thus  early  it  was  feared  in  England  that 
Louis  Philippe  might  plan  a  marriage  between  one  of 
his  sons  and  the  child-Queen  Isabel,  and  more  direct 
support  than  before  was  consequently  given  by  the 
English  Government  to  Cristina,  the  intrigues  of  the 
two  Powers  to  gain  a  paramount  influence  in  Spain 
continuing  simultaneously  in  Madrid,  London,  and 
Paris,  Louis  Philippe,  however,  had  a  difficult  game 
to  play,  for  he  wished  to  marry  some  of  his  sons  to 
German  Catholic  princesses,  and  could  not  afford 
to  offend  the  legitimist  Powers  who  supported  Don 
Carlos  ;  so  that  for  a  time,  at  all  events,  the  English 
aid  to  Cristina  predominated,  even  when  the  mode- 
rates, who  were  favourable  to  French  influence,  were 
in  power  in  Spain. 

We   have    seen    that    the    party    of   reaction    had 




rallied  almost  entire  to  the  cause  of  Don  Carlos, 
and  that  the  Queen's  throne  could  only  depend 
upon  those  who  advocated  popular  government  ;  but 
it  soon  became  clear  that  the  ostensible  Constitu- 
tionists  were  broadly  divided  between  those  who 
were  willing  to  give  to  the  people  a  real  representa- 
tive system  and  those  who  wished  to  put  them  off 
with  the  appearance  only.  It  was  perhaps  natural 
that  Cristina  and  her  palace  cajiiarilla  should  lean 
to  the  latter ;  and  though  all  outside  the  Carlist 
ranks  claimed  to  be  Constitutionists,  yet  the 
"  moderates  "  were,  for  all  practical  purposes,  a  purely 
Conservative  and  royalist  party,  and  enjoyed  thence- 
forward the  full  support  of  the  Queen.  The  rise 
of  Isturiz  was  followed  by  the  election  of  a  Conserva- 
tive Cortes,  the  dismissal  of  all  advanced  Liberal 
functionaries  and  an  era  of  reaction. 

But  Mendizabal,  the  only  really  earnest  and  able 
Liberal  politician  of  the  first  rank  who  had  appeared 
for  years,  was  still  extremely  popular  throughout  the 
country,  and  soon  all  the  south  of  Spain  was  in  full 
revolution  against  the  Queen's  Government.  Amidst 
scenes  of  the  wildest  disorder  and  bloodshed  the 
authorities  of  all  the  great  towns  of  Andalusia  declared 
for  the  Constitution  of  1812.  The  fire  of  revolt  was 
spreading  northward  when  the  Madrid  Government 
sent  General  Narvaez  to  Zaragoza  with  his  brigade, 
to  stifle  the  movement  there,  but  he  found  that 
Evaristo  de  San  Miguel  was  at  the  head  of  the 
mutiny,  as  was  Mina  in  Cataluna,  and  in  face  of 
these  two  powerful  generals  Narvaez  could  do  nothing  ; 
whilst  in  Madrid  itself  the  rising  was  only  suppressed 

THE   ^^  REVOLT   OF    THE   SERGEANTS."  33 1 

with  the  utmost  difficulty  by  General  Quesada,  and 
by  the  partial  disarmament  of  the  National  INIilitia. 
There  is  no  question  that  the  country  at  large  was 
profoundly  disappointed  at  the  attitude  of  the  palace 
clique  which  had  displaced  Mendizabal,  and  it  now 
despaired  of  gaining  a  really  representative  system  by 
constitutional  means.  It  was  now  acknowledged  by 
parliamentarians  that  Martinez  de  la  Rosa's  "  Statute" 
was  a  mockery,  which  offered  no  hope  of  expansion  ; 
and  it  was  seen  that  between  the  Queen  and  Don 
Carlos  the  principal  difference  was  one  mainly  of 

Things  were  in  this  state  on  August  12,  1836, 
with  one-third  of  Spain  in  the  Carlist  occupation, 
and  another  third,  or  more,  acclaiming  the  Consti- 
tution of  1 81 2  against  the  Oueen's  Government, 
when  there  rode  into  the  town  adjoining  the  palace 
of  La  Granja,  where  the  Queens  were  staying,  a 
militiaman  who  told  the  soldiers  and  the  people  that 
he  had  fled  from  Madrid  to  avoid  the  disarmament 
which  had  been  decreed  by  Quesada  against  all  the 
National  Militia.  The  troops  in  garrison  at  La 
Granja,  many  of  whom  were  Liberals,  were  deeply 
moved,  and  at  ten  o'clock  the  same  night  a  cry 
to  arms  was  raised.  A  battalion  mustered  in  the 
barrack-square  under  its  sergeants  only  ;  it  was  aug- 
mented by  some  companies  of  the  Royal  Guard, 
and  the  force  proceeded  rapidly  towards  the  palace. 
Nothing  impeded  the  progress  of  the  mutineers,  for 
the  authorities  were  paralysed.  All  the  rest  of 
the  guards  and  grenadiers  joined  the  revolt  on  the 
way,  and  two  sergeants  were  elected  to  dictate  terms 

332  IVAJd   AND   ANARCHY. 

to  the  Queen,  into  whose  presence  they  were  escorted 
by  the  commanders  of  their  respective  regiments. 

Cristina  received  them  graciously.  Kneehng  they 
kissed  her  hand,  as  she  stood  surrounded  by  her 
Court,  and  in  answer  to  her  questions  Sergeant 
Gomez  said  that  they  had  been  fighting  the  Carlists 
for  the  Queen,  but  they  had  been  fighting  for  Hberty 
as  well.  "  Yes,  my  sons,"  said  the  Queen,  "  you 
have  been  fighting  for  liberty."  "  But  what  liberty 
have  we  in  Spain  ? "  asked  Gomez.  "  Don't  you 
know  what  liberty  is?"  inquired  the  Queen  ;  to  which 
the  bold  sergeant  replied  that  they  did  not  judge  that 
which  they  had  in  Spain  to  be  liberty.  "  Liberty," 
said  Cristina,  "  is  the  rule  of  law,  and  obedience  to 
authority."  "  Then,"  replied  the  sergeant,  "  resistance 
to  the  almost  universal  will  of  the  nation  that  the 
Constitution  should  be  proclaimed  is  not  liberty,  the 
disarmament  of  the  National  Militia  is  not  liberty, 
the  persecution  and  banishment  of  Liberals  is  not 
liberty,  and  the  wish  to  make  terms  with  the  Carlists, 
and  to  return  to  the  bad  times  of  old,  is  not  liberty." 
The  Queen  was  rapidly  losing  patience,  and  began 
to  speak  haughtily,  when  Gomez  told  her  plainly 
that  peace  and  order  could  only  be  restored  by  the 
promulgation  of  the  Constitution  of  1812.  The 
Queen  cleverly  raised  difficulties  which  for  a  time 
puzzled  the  sergeants,  and  she  tried  to  put  off  the 
mutineers  with  vague  promises  ;  but  the  regiments 
outside  would  suffer  no  temporising  ;  and  at  length 
the    following    decree    was    issued. ^       "  As    Queen- 

'  George  Borrow  in  his  "  Bible  in  Spain  "  gives  a  highly  sensational 
account  from  hearsay  of  these   events.      He  says  that  the  Cristina's 


Governess  of  Spain,  I  command  that  the  Constitution 
of  1812  shall  be  published,  pending  the  manifestation 
by  Cortes  of  the  will  of  the  nation.  San  Ildefonso, 
August  13,  1836." 

The  Madrid  Government  was  in  dismay,  and  made 
no  secret  of  their  belief  that  the  English  ambassador, 
Lord  Clarendon,  was  at  the  bottom  of  the  movement ; 
a  suggestion  which  the  sergeant  strenuously,  and 
quite  truly,  denied.  Fruitless  attempts  were  made  to 
buy  or  intimidate  the  sergeants  by  Mendez  Vigo,  the 
Minister  of  War  ;  intercepted  letters  told  them  that 
the  Madrid  Government  was  planning  vengeance ; 
and  the  garrison  then  demanded  the  dismissal  of  the 
ministers  and  other  high  functionaries  opposed  to 
them.  In  the  meanwhile  Madrid  itself  had  fallen 
a  prey  to  uproar.  The  ministers  fled  to  hiding, 
General  Quesada  in  attempting  to  escape  in  disguise 
was  caught  by  the  mob,  and  butchered,  and  at  the 
dictation  of  the  sergeants  a  new  ministry  of  con- 
spicuous Radicals  under  Calatrava  was  hurriedly 
appointed  by  the  Queen.  Once  more  every  town 
square  outside  the  Carlist  lines  changed  its  name  to 
"Plaza  de  la  Constitucion,"  again  the  Hymn  of  Riego 
resounded  through  the  streets,  and  for  the  third  time 
the  constitutional  mottoes  were  boldly  emblazoned 
in   public    places.      "  The  nation  is  essentially  sove- 

husband  (or  paramour)  Munoz,  was  bound  and  blindfolded  ready  to  be 
shot  by  the  mutineers,  and  that  the  Queen  only  gave  way  when  the 
muskets  were  levelled  to  shoot  him.  The  account  of  actors  and  eye- 
witnesses, however,  make  no  mention  of  this  scene.  Sorrow's  lively 
account  of  what  happened  at  Madrid  at  the  same  time  is  probably  true, 
as  he  was  on  the  spot. 

334  ^^^   ^^-^  ANARCHY. 

reign,"  and  "  The  power  of  making  laws  is  vested  in 
the  Cortes  with  the  monarch." 

The  disturbed  state  of  the  Government  had  en- 
couraged the  CarHsts  to  push  forward  into  Central 
Spain  ;  and  almost  simultaneously  with  the  events 
just  narrated  one  of  the  most  interesting  episodes  of 
the  war  took  place.  If  Carlism  was  ever  to  spread 
beyond  the  Basque  provinces  and  Navarre  this  was 
its  opportunity,  and  General  Miguel  Gomez,  who  was 
endeavouring  unsuccessfully  to  rally  Asturias  and 
Galicia  to  Don  Carlos,  determined  to  seize  it.  With 
four  battalions  of  infantry,  a  squadron  of  cavalry,  and 
two  field  guns,  he  started  from  the  north-west  corner 
of  Spain,  crossed  the  kingdom  of  Leon,  Old  Castile, 
and  into  New  Castile,  almost  to  the  gates  of  Madrid, 
fought  with  and  captured  a  brigade  of  the  Royal 
Guard  at  Jadraque,  marched  to  Cordoba,  returned  to 
the  Mancha  and  captured  Almaden,  again  entered 
Andalusia,  and  approached  Cadiz,  finally  retracing 
his  steps  and  returning  to  the  Carlist  headquarters 
on  the  Ebro  without  serious  loss,  after  five  months' 
march  (December  20,  1836). 

This  brilliant  but  unproductive  expedition  ^  was 
effected  in  the  face  of  the  best  commanders  the 
Queen's  Government  could  muster.  Espartero,  Rodil, 
Manso,  Rivero,  and  Narvaez  were  in  turn  deceived 
and  out-generalled.  In  the  case  of  Narvaez,  his 
troops  mutinied  in  face  of  the  enemy  whom  he  had 

'  Gomez  was  disgraced  and  imprisoned  by  Don  Carlos  on  his  return, 
the  charges  against  him  being  that  he  had  been  too  merciful  with  his 
prisoners,  that  he  had  not  prepared  the  way  for  Don  Carlos  to  Madrid 
and  that  he  had  failed  to  divide  his  booty  fairly  with  Don  Carlos. 


partially  defeated  (November  29th),  and  from  the 
behaviour  of  the  Queen's  troops  and  officers  through- 
out it  was  seen  that  the  poison  of  party  politics  had 
penetrated  deeply  into  their  ranks. 

By  far  the  most  popular  and  active  of  the  Queen's 
generals  was  Espartero,  whom  the  new  re\-oIutionary 
Government  of  Calatrava  appointed  to  the  supreme 
command  of  the  army  at  the  end  of  September,  on 
the  retirement  of  General  Cordoba  ;  and  he  lost  no 
time  in  infusing  some  enthusiasm  into  the  ranks. 
Leaving  for  a  season  the  task  of  attacking  the  enemy, 
he  threw  the  whole  of  his  immense  energy  into  im- 
proving the  moral  and  material  condition  of  his  men. 
The  army,  indeed,  was  in  a  deplorable  condition  ; 
starving  and  in  rags,  badly  armed  and  worse  fed, 
divided  by  political  and  personal  jealousy,  and  with- 
out confidence  in  themselves  or  their  leaders,  they 
had  proved  themselves  in  the  face  of  Gomez's  march 
unfit  to  cope  with  the  enemy  ;  and  Espartero's  first 
task  was  to  reorganise  his  army  for  the  supreme 
struggle.  The  Basques  and  other  friends  of  Don 
Carlos  were  growing  impatient  at  the  slow  progress 
of  the  Pretender's  cause  for  which  they  had  sacrificed 
so  much.  The  great  fortresses,  even  in  the  north, 
were  still  in  the  hands  of  the  Queen  ;  and  it  was 
decided  that,  at  any  cost,  Bilbao  must  be  won  ;  so 
for  the  third  time  the  Carlist  troops  sat  down  before 
the  capital  of  Biscay,  upon  the  possession  of  which 
the  final  triumph  of  their  cause  depended. 

The  town  was  held  by  only  4,300  soldiers  of  the 
Queen,  whilst  the  besiegers  numbered  some  1 5,000  with 
nineteen  guns ;  and  the  Carlists  anticipated  an  easy 

336  WAJ?   AND  ANARCHY, 

victory.  In  this  they  were  mistaken.  General  Santos 
San  Miguel,  who  commanded  the  troops  in  the  city, 
aroused  the  spirit  of  his  men  and  the  citizens  to  the 
highest  pitch  of  fervour.  Through  the  month  of 
November  a  terrible  fire  was  kept  up,  and  one  after 
another  the  defences  of  the  outer  line  fell ;  but  the 
summons  to  surrender  was  indignantly  rejected. 
"  Let  Bilbao  hold  out ;  help  shall  soon  reach  her," 
was  Espartero's  signal-message  to  the  beleaguered 
town  ;  but  it  was  clear  that  the  accumulated  horrors 
of  famine,  fire,  pestilence,  and  death  would  force  the 
devoted  citizens  to  capitulate  before  many  days  were 

The  task  of  relief  was  difficult,  considering  the 
position  of  the  place,  with  mountains  on  all  sides. 
Espartero,  with  14,000  men,  had  managed  to  reach 
Portucalete  at  the  mouth  of  the  river  upon  which 
Bilbao  stands,  but  on  the  other  side  six  miles  off. 
Only  one  bridge  was  left  over  the  river,  and  a  first 
attempt  by  the  Queen's  troops  to  force  it  failed.  The 
next  day  (November  28th)  Espartero  made  a  des- 
perate effort  to  get  across  on  a  pontoon  bridge  and 
was  successful,  but  was  stopped  on  his  road  to  the 
town  by  the  cutting  of  the  bridge  of  Luchana  over  a 
tributary  stream.  Under  a  heavy  fire  the  bridge  was 
repaired,  and  the  next  day  Espartero  was  able  to  pro- 
ceed ;  but  once  more  was  driven  back  to  Portugalete 
with  heavy  loss.  On  December  i6th  the  General 
addressed  a  fervid  proclamation  to  his  men,  in  which 
he  swore  to  relieve  Bilbao  or  die,  and  on  the  24th  a 
o-eneral  action  was  commenced,  during  which,  by  the 
aid  of  the  English  bluejackets,  another  bridge   was 


thrown  across  the  tributary  at  Luchana,  and  here 
the  great  battle  was  fought.  The  CarHsts  Hned  the 
mountains  that  rise  on  each  side,  and  Espartero's 
troops  fell  in  great  numbers,  but  retreat  now  was 
more  destructive  for  them  than  advance,  for  they 
were  between  the  Carlists  and  the  river,  and  a 
return  over  the  bridge  of  boats  would  have  meant 

Espartero  himself  was  in  bed  with  a  burning  fever, 
but  at  the  supreme  moment  conquered  his  sickness, 
mounted  his  charger,  and  galloped  across  the  Luchana 
bridge  in  a  blinding  snowstorm,  to  lead  his  men.  At 
one  o'clock  in  the  morning  the  attack  was  delivered 
on  the  principal  mountain  position  of  the  Carlists. 
Storming  up  the  hillsides,  the  Queen's  troops  charged 
with  the  bayonet.  The  mortality  on  both  sides  was 
appalling,  and  the  sufferings  of  the  men  were  increased 
by  the  fury  of  the  tempest,  which  rapidly  covered  dead 
and  wounded  alike  in  a  thick  winding-sheet  of  snow. 
Finally,  after  superhuman  efforts  and  many  hours  of 
fighting,  the  height  of  Banderas  was  carried  and  the 
Carlists  fled.  Bilbao  was  saved  for  the  third  time, 
and  it  was  certain  now  that  the  Pretender  could  never 
conquer  Spain  by  force  of  arms. 

This  was  the  most  important,  as  well  as  the  most 
decisive,  action  in  a  lingering  civil  war ;  and,  brave  as 
were  his  own  men,  Espartero  could  not  refrain  from 
acknowledging  in  his  order  of  the  day  that  much  of 
the  credit  of  the  signal  victory  was  owing  to  the  aid 
of  Colonel  Wilde  and  the  English  bluejackets  and 
soldiers.  With  the  relief  of  Bilbao  Carlism  started 
on  its  downward  path,  and  the  throne  of  Isabel   II. 


338  ^VAJ?    AND  ANARCHY. 

was  secured,  at  least  from  demolition  by  the  armed 
forces  of  obscurantism. 

As  we  have  seen,  the  ministry  of  Calatrava  was  the 
creation  of  popular  tumult  and  a  barrack  mutiny,  and 
it  was  necessary  as  a  first  step  to  justify  its  origin. 
The  Queen  in  her  speeches  and  decrees  was  now 
made  to  bless  methods  and  aspirations  which  she  had 
formerly  condemned,  the  property  of  Conservatives 
and  others  who  had  fled  from  Spain  was  confiscated, 
a  forced  prepayment  of  taxes  to  the  extent  of  two 
millions  sterling  was  ordered,  the  salaries  of  public 
functionaries  were  reduced,  and  all  the  principal  laws 
of  1820-23  were  again  promulgated.  But  Radical  as 
the  Government  was,  it  saw  that  the  Constitution  of 
Cadiz  was  impracticable,  and  summoned  a  Constituent 
Cortes,  elected  on  the  mode  of  18 12,  to  bring  it  into 
accord  with  the  present  state  of  affairs.  Cristina 
opened  the  Cortes  in  state,  and  even,  as  her  husband 
had  done,  swore  to  respect  the  sacred  Constitution. 

There  was  a  large  Liberal  majority,  but  the  ministry 
was  content  to  leave  the  initiative  to  the  Chamber  ; 
which,  instead  of  reforming  the  code  of  18 12,  devised 
a  new  one.  Extreme  Liberals,  then  as  now,  condemn 
the  Constitution  of  1837  as  timid  and  reactionary, 
and  ascribe  much  of  the  trouble  which  afterwards 
befell  the  country  to  the  discouragement  of  the 
Liberals  at  this  poor  result  of  their  revolution  ;  but 
judging  from  prior  and  subsequent  events,  it  may  be 
questioned  whether  the  Spanish  people  as  a  whole 
were  prepared  for  a  more  complete  measure  of  enfran- 
chisement. The  principal  points  of  difference  from 
the  Code  of  Cadiz  were  :   ist,  That  two  chambers  were 


to  exist  instead  of  one,  both  of  them  with  initiative 
power  and  equal  rights,  except  in  the  matter  of 
finance,  in  which  the  Enghsh  system  was  followed. 
The  Senate  was  to  be  nominated  by  the  Crown  from 
lists  of  three  members  elected  by  each  constituency, 
both  they  and  the  deputies  being  elected  by  direct 
vote  of  the  same  voters;  the  voter's  qualification  being 
the  payment  of  taxes  or  the  possession  of  property  to 
an  amount  which  practically  excluded  the  working 
class  from  the  franchise.  2nd.  The  veto  of  the  Crown 
was  absolute,  and  it  had  the  right  to  summon,  sus- 
pend, or  dissolve  Parliam.ent,  but  was  obliged  to 
convoke  the  chambers  every  year,  failing  which, 
power  was  given  for  Parliament  to  meet  of  its  own 
accord  on  December  ist.  It  will  be  seen  that  this 
was  to  some  extent  a  Liberal  adaptation  of  the  Eng- 
lish Reform  Bill  of  1832,  and  was  accepted  without 
much  enthusiasm,  or  the  reverse,  by  politicians  of  all 
sections  of  the  Constitutional  party. 

With  all  possible  pomp  the  Regent,  accompanied 
by  the  little  Queen  Isabel,  swore  on  June  17,  1837, 
to  guard  and  respect  the  new  Constitution.  "  And  if 
I  should  break  my  oath,  I  ought  not  to  be  obeyed. 
And  so  God  help  and  defend  me,  or  call  me  to 
account  if  I  fail."  So  ran  the  oath ;  and  in  her 
speech  from  the  throne,  more  solemnly  still,  if 
possible,  the  Queen  gave  her  adhesion  to  the 
new  law.  "  Here,  in  the  face  of  Heaven  and 
earth,  I  again  declare  my  free  and  spontaneous 
acceptance  of  the  political  institutions  I  have 
just  sworn  to  respect,  in  the  presence  and  in 
the  name  of  my  august  daughter  now  before  you." 

340  WAJ?   AND  ANARCHY. 

And  then,  again,  the  inscriptions  about  the  sove- 
reignty of  the  nation  and  the  omnipotence  of  the 
Cortes  were  rubbed  out  ;  and  though  the  town 
squares  were  still  called  Plaza  de  la  Constitucion,  it 
was  no  longer  the  flaming  Code  of  1812.  But  nobody 
seemed  to  care  very  much  now.  The  nation  was 
jaded  with  paper  constitutions  and  retaliatory  per- 
secutions by  each  political  party ;  and  though  the 
orators  were  as  copious  and  as  florid  as  they  had 
been  in  1820,  and  the  newspapers  revelled  in  their 
restored  licence  to  lie  and  calumniate,  the  people 
wanted  above  all  things  peace,  security,  and  bread, 
and  these  were  boons  which  no  political  system 
seemed  able  to  give  them. 

Anarchy,  indeed,  existed  from  one  end  of  Spain  to 
the  other.  Wandering  guerrilla  bands,  calling  them- 
selves Carlists  but  living  by  plunder,  infested  Cata- 
luiia,  Castile,  La  Mancha,  and  Estremadura.  They 
were  commanded  by  country  ruffians,  known  by 
popular  nicknames,  mere  freebooters  ;  but  to  a  great 
extent  they  stopped  traffic  on  the  main  roads,  ex- 
tended their  raids  almost  to  the  gates  of  the  capital, 
and  extorted  blackmail  from  the  wretched  farmers 
for  permission  to  grow  their  poor  crops.  Widespread 
starvation  and  misery  was  the  result,  and  the  war 
must  have  failed  from  the  mere  exhaustion  of  the 
country,  if  it  had  not  been  kept  up  by  liberal  sub- 
sidies from  abroad.^      It   had,  however,  now  become 

'  The  English  Government  suppHed  aid  to  Cristina  to  the  vahie  of 
;^540,ooo,  which  was  not  repaid  until  i860,  without  interest;  whilst 
vast  sums  reached  Don  Carlos  from  the  Legitimist  Courts,  Austria, 
Russia,  Prussia,  and  Sardinia.  The  English  Tories,  as  a  party,  had 
now  washed  their  hands  of  Don  Carlos,  who  was  acknowledged  to  be 
impossible  after  the  "  Durango  decree." 

DEFEAT   OF  EVANS.  34 1 

necessary  for  some  decisive  results  to  be  shown  or 
these  supplies  would  fail ;  and  with  this  end  both 
Carlists  and  Cristinos  laid  their  plans. 

It  was  arranged  that  Espartero  should  leave  Bilbao 
with  twenty-five  battalions,  simultaneously  with  the 
march  of  Evans  from  San  Sebastian  with  a  similar 
force,  and  with  that  of  Sarsfield  from  Pamplona  with 
10,000  men.  The  three  generals  were  respectively  to 
beat  the  forces  opposed  to  them,  effect  a  junction, 
and  together  fall  upon  the  Carlist  line  of  the  Ebro. 
In  a  brilliant  series  of  battles  lasting  five  days,  from 
March  lO  to  15,  1837,  Evans,  assisted  by  a  body  of 
English  bluejackets,  drove  the  Carlists  from  their 
position  in  Guipuzcoa  with  great  slaughter ;  but  at 
the  critical  juncture  Sarsfield  failed  to  come  up, 
owing  to  the  bad  weather  and  the  ill  condition  of  his 
men.  When  Sarsfield  again  retired  to  Pamplona  the 
Carlist  army  of  Navarre  was  free  to  turn  upon  Evans, 
and  the  latter  was  defeated  before  Hernani  on  the 
i6th.  The  carnage  of  the  fugitives  was  heartrending, 
for  little  or  no  quarter  was  given,  and  it  would  have 
been  worse  but  for  the  opportune  landing  of  the 
British  sailors  from  the  men-of-war  in  San  Sebastian 
roads,  who  formed  up,  and,  to  some  extent,  protected 
the  retreat  into  the  town. 

When  this  disaster  was  known  to  Espartero  he 
also  was  forced  to  retrace  his  steps  into  Bilbao,  and 
the  plan  failed.  But  the  tables  were  soon  turned. 
Early  in  May  Espartero  transported  his  army  by  sea 
from  Bilbao  to  San  Sebastian  and  joined  Evans.  On 
the  14th  of  May  the  Carlists  were  driven  back  on  to 
their   lines  at    Hernani,  which   they  held  with  great 

342  WAH   AND   ANARCHY. 

tenacity  against  the  English  legion  and  Esparteiro's 
men.  But  the  Infante  Don  Sebastian,  commanding 
the  Pretender's  forces,  committed  the  fatal  error  of 
withdrawing  a  large  body  of  his  army  to  make  a 
march  upon  Madrid  with  Don  Carlos  in  person  ;  and 
one  after  the  other  the  Carlist  positions  in  Guipuzcoa 
again  fell ;  Hernani  on  the  15th,  Oyarzun  on  the  i6th, 
Irun,  after  an  assault  of  twenty-five  hours,  on  the  17th, 
and  Fuenterrabia  on  the  i8th.  The  British  legion, 
praised  by  its  bitterest  enemies  for  its  clemency  in 
its  hour  of  triumph,  returned  to  San  Sebastian 
with  800  prisoners;  and  out  of  mere  shame  the 
wisest  of  the  stupid  Pretender's  advisers  fruitlessly 
begged  him  to  repay  such  magnanimity  by  cancelling 
the  "  Durango  decree." 

Whilst  Espartero  was  pursuing  his  piT>gress  through 
the  heart  of  the  Carlist  country  to  Pamplona,  Don 
Carlos  made  his  long-projected  march  to  Cataluna, 
where  his  chief  Tristany  had  been  extremely  success- 
ful, and  thence,  it  was  hoped,  to  Madrid  by  Valencia. 
Fighting  successfully  almost  every  day  with  detached 
bodies  of  the  Queen's  troops,  the  Pretender  went 
by  Huesca,  Barbastro,  and  Gra,  to  the  Ebro,  which 
river  he  crossed,  closely  followed  on  all  sides  by 
Cristino  forces  on  the  29th  of  June.  At  Castellon  de 
la  Plana  he  was  repulsed  (July  8th)  and  then,  rein- 
forced by  Cabrera,  he  proceeded  towards  Valencia 
by  Segorbe,  his  force  now  numbering  twenty  batta- 
lions of  infantry  and  twelve  squadrons  of  cavalry.  On 
the  15th  of  July  he  suffered  a  considerable  defeat  at 
Bunol,  and,  still  closely  pursued  by  General  Oraa, 
approached  Valencia. 


The  distracted  Government  in  Madrid  had  ordered 
Espartero  to  hurry  down  from  the  north  and  place 
himself  between  Don  Carlos  and  the  capital  ;  and  by 
forced  marches  the  general  had  brought  down  a 
brigade  to  Calamocha,  whence  he  could  strike  at  the 
Pretender  if  he  approached  Madrid.  But  in  the 
meanwhile  a  small  Carlist  force,  under  Zariategui, 
had  boldly  pushed  down  from  the  extreme  north, 
and,  evading  pursuit,  had  taken  Segovia  on  the 
opposite  side  of  the  capital  and  was  now  raiding  the 
outskirts  of  Madrid.  The  Government,  in  a  veritable 
panic,  could  only  beseech  to  Espartero  to  come  and 
protect  it,  and  he  with  his  brigade  of  guards  entered 
the  city  on  the  1 5th  of  August,  to  the  intense  relief  of 
the  townsmen  ;  whilst  Don  Carlos,  still  harassed  by 
Oraa  and  Buerens,  but  free  now  from  the  victor  of 
Luchana,  pushed  on  from  Valencia  to  Madrid. 

The  near  presence  of  the  enemy  was  not  by  any 
means  the  only  danger  that  threatened  the  Queen's 
ministers.  The  revolt  of  the  sergeants  at  the  Granja 
had  triumphed  by  violence  over  Cristina  and  her 
friends,  but  from  the  first  day  the  moderates  and  the 
palace  clique  had  striven  to  overturn  the  new  regime. 
The  most  violent  attacks  of  the  press  and  the  orators 
had  been  directed  against  Calatrava  and  Mendizabal, 
and  no  opportunity  had  been  lost  by  the  Queen's 
camarilla  in  hampering  the  working  of  their  measures. 
Espartero  had  hitherto  given  no  clear  indication  of 
his  political  leanings,  such  as  had  been  displayed  by 
Narvaez,  whom  the  Radicals  had  driven  to  resign  his 
command  ;  but  the  royal  guard,  which  constituted 
Espartero's  brigade,  were  known  to  be  strongly  anti- 

344  ^^'^'^^   ^^^   ANARCHY. 

Liberal ;  and  the  general  himself  had  repeated  with 
displeasure  some  incautious  expressions  which  Mendi- 
zabal  had  used  respecting  the  officers  of  the  army. 
Long  before  they  had  entered  Madrid  Espartero's 
troops  were  approached  by  the  agents  of  the  "  mode- 
rates," and  both  they  and  their  general  found  that 
whilst  the  Radical  Government  looked  upon  them 
askance,  the  Queen  and  her  friends  excelled  them- 
selves in  their  attention  to  them. 

The  brigade  of  guards,  of  nine  battalions,  was 
quartered  in  three  detachments  in  the  suburbs  of  the 
capital  for  a  few  days  prior  to  proceeding  to  dislodge 
Zariategui  from  Segovia  ;  and,  in  the  interval,  Espar- 
tero  was  awakened  at  two  o'clock  one  morning  by 
a  deputation  of  officers,  who  informed  him  that  they 
insisted  upon  a  change  of  ministry.  The  general  could, 
when  he  liked,  be  a  strict  disciplinarian,  and  was  after- 
wards a  great  Liberal  leader  ;  but  on  this  occasion  he 
temporised  with  the  outrage.  The  officer  commanding 
the  guards — General  Rivero — was  indignant  at  the 
meeting  and  dismissed  all  the  officers,  mustering  the 
brigade  under  the  sergeants,  but  Espartero  took  no 
steps  to  punish  the  mutineers,  beyond  exhortations  to 
obedience,  and  the  like,  and  it  was  notorious  that  the 
Queen  smiled  on  the  revolt. 

It  was  evident  to  the  ministry,  therefore,  that  both 
the  Commander-in-chief  and  the  Regent  were  against 
them,  and  they  had  no  alternative  but  to  resign ; 
Baldomero  Espartero,  Count  de  Luchana,  succeeding 
as  Prime  Minister,  a  post,  however,  which  he  imme- 
diately resigned,  in  order  to  continue  his  campaign 
against  the  Carlists.     Not  only  had  the  "moderates" 


been  intriguing  with  the  ro}'al  guard  in  the  very- 
presence  of  the  enem\-,  but  their  agents  had  stirred 
up  a  lamentable  spirit  in  the  army  of  the  north, 
where  indiscipline  reigned  supreme.  Genera]  Count 
Mirasol  in  Guipuzcoa  was  deposed  by  his  own  men 
in  favour  of  O'Donnell,  and  fled  for  his  life  to 
France  ;  in  Aragon  the  commander  of  the  engineers 
was  the  victim  ;  and  in  Miranda  del  Ebro  the  Com- 
mander-in-chief of  the  army  of  the  north,  Escalera, 
was  slaughtered  by  his  own  men.  A  like  fate  befell 
the  Governor  of  Vitoria  and  his  chief  officers  :  in 
Logrono  the  excesses  of  the  mutineers  horrified  even 
their  friends,  and  in  Pamplona  the  famous  General 
Sarsfield  and  others  were  also  murdered  by  the  men 
they  were  supposed  to  command. 

Whilst  the  army  of  the  north  was  thus  condemned 
to  inaction,  by  political  intrigue,  a  terror  instead  of 
a  protection  to  its  unhappy  country,  Don  Carlos, 
brushing  aside  the  slight  opjDosition  offered  to  him, 
appeared  at  the  gates  of  Madrid  on  the  nth  of 
September,  1837.  The  Pretender  and  his  friends — - 
especially  the  furious  madman,  the  Curate  Merino, 
who  led  the  guerrilla  in  Castile — were  confident  now 
that  success  was  within  his  grasp.  There  were  good 
reasons  for  the  belief,  and  for  his  presence  before 
Madrid,  for  a  secret  arrangement  had  been  made 
between  him  and  Cristina,  through  the  King  of 
Naples,  that  she  would  welcome  him,  on  condition 
that  his  eldest  son  married  Queen  Isabel.  But  that 
was  when  Cristina  was  saddled  with  a  Radical 
Government :  now  that  the  revolt  of  the  officers  of 
the  guard  had   rid   her  of  Calatrava  ;  and  Espartero 


had  promised  her  success  over  her  enemies,  her 
views  were  changed,  and  Don  Carlos  stayed  outside. 
Espartero  hurried  back  to  Madrid  from  Daroca. 
Cristina  and  her  daughter  aroused  the  enthusiasm 
of  the  people  to  the  highest  pitch,  by  themselves 
reviewing  the  troops,  and  Don  Carlos,  seeing  now 
that  he  had  been  deceived,  raised  his  camp  after  one 
day's  stay  and  beat  a  retreat  to  his  own  Basque 
land,  followed  in  a  few  days  by  Espartero  ;  whilst 
the  terrible  Cabrera  returned  once  more  to  the 
kingdom  of  Valencia,  there  to  recommence  the 
rapine,  murder  and  devastation  with  which  he  had 
desolated  the  garden  of  Spain  before  his  prince  had 
joined  him.^  Thenceforward  bands  of  marauders 
still  afflicted  Castile  and  the  Mancha  ;  and  Cabrera 
in  Aragon  and  Valencia  terrorised  the  country,  but 
it  was  now  generally  understood  that,  outside  the 
Basque  provinces  and  Navarre,  Don  Carlos  had  not 
the  people  of  Spain  on  his  side. 

'  As  an  instance  of  his  ferocity,  shortly  afterwards  he  called  a  meeting 
of  all  his  officers  on  learning  of  Maroto's  surrender  and  pretended  to 
advocate  an  arrangement  with  the  Queen's  party.  Naturally  many 
ofticers  agreed  with  him,  and  the  chief  at  once  ordered  them  all  to  be 
shot.  He  then  published  a  proclamation  condemning  to  instant  death 
any  one  who  merely  pronounced  the  word  "  agreement." 




Discouragement  fell  upon  the  Carlist  host  after 
the  retreat  from  Madrid.  The  Pretender  personally 
was  not  popular,  and  his  mimic  court  of  fastidious 
civilians  and  friars  was  hated  by  the  figiiting-men  ; 
whilst  his  black  bigotry  ^  and  impracticability  had 
disgusted  his  foreign  supporters  and  limited  their 
money  contributions.  Jealousy  between  the  Carlist 
provinces  also  greatly  hampered  the  co-operation  of 
the  troops.  But  whilst  the  main  Carlist  army 
gradually  dwindled  and  despaired,  the  almost 
independent  guerrilla  chiefs  in  the  other  provinces 
maintained  uninterruptedly  the  campaign  of  pillage 
and  murder  which  ministered  to  their  greed  and 
satiated  their  savagery.  Of  these  Cabrera  was 
unquestionably  the  ablest.  During  1838  he  became, 
indeed,  the  most  prominent  of  the  Carlist  generals, 
capturing  Morella  and  Benicarlo  early  in  the  year,^ 
and  over-running  much  of  the  two  kingdoms  of 
Aragon  and   Valencia,    beating  the    Queen's    troops 

'  The  Virgin  of  the  Afflictions  was  solemnly  appointed  Commander-in- 
chief  of  the  Carlist  army. 

-  He  was  created  Count  de  Morella  by  Don  Carlos. 



in  almost  every  encounter.  As  cruel  and  ferocious 
as  Cabrera,  but  without  his  vast  ability,  was  the 
"  Demon  of  Old  Castile,"  the  Curate  Merino,  a  true 
guerrilla  chief,  who  levied  blackmail  and  terrorised 
isolated  villages,  without  check  from  the  more  slowly 
moving  regular  troops.  The  danger  that  threatened 
the  Queen's  Government  at  the  time  was,  indeed,  that 
these  guerrilla  chiefs  might  end  by  wearing  out  the 
country,  which  might  in  sheer  weariness,  and  for  the 
sake  of  peace,  accept  the  King  at  the  dictation  of  the 
Basque  provinces  and  Navarre.  At  any  rate  it  was 
seen  that  affairs  could  not  continue  for  any  length  of 
time  in  the  existing  ruinous  state,  with  no  security 
for  life  or  prosperity  and  with  two  ostensible 
Gov-ernments,  neither  of  which  had  power  to  rule. 

The  Cortes,  elected  by  direct  vote  at  the  end  of  1837 
in  accordance  with  the  new  Constitution,  was  found 
to  contain  a  considerable  majority  of  "  moderates," 
and  the  result  was  the  appointment  of  a  new  ministry, 
with  the  Count  deOfalia,  an  old  minister  of  Fernando 
and  a  member  of  the  Queen's  cainarilla,  as  chief, 
whose  first  care  was  to  make  another  desperate 
attempt  to  persuade  Louis  Philippe  to  send  armed 
aid  against  the  Carlists,  but  again  without  success. 
This  ministry,  like  its  predecessors,  soon  lost  credit 
both  with  its  friends  and  its  opponents  for  its 
inability  to  finish  the  war.  Although  Espartero  had 
captured  Peiiacerrada  and  was  continuing  his  victories 
in  the  north,  Cabrera  held  out  in  his  stronghold  at 
Morella  against  the  Queen's  troops  under  Oraa,  whom 
he  had  driven  away  with  great  slaughter,  and  had 
utterly  routed  and  destroyed  another  division  under 


Pardinas  at  Maella,  whilst  Castile  and  the  south  were 
still  a  prey  to  the  guerrillas.  In  these  circumstances 
a  new  man  came  upon  the  scene,  who  was  for  many 
years  to  cast  a  baleful  influence  on  Spanish  politics, 
and  to  bring  incalculable  misery  upon  his  unfortunate 

Ramon  Maria  Narvaez,  the  vain  and  turbulent 
general  who  resigned  his  command  rather  than  serve 
under  Espartero  when  the  Liberals  were  in  power, 
had  made  no  secret  of  his  Conservative  leaninsfs. 
The  "  moderate  "  ministry  were  rather  overshadowed 
by  the  Commander-in-chief,  Espartero,  who  had 
made  them  understand  that,  if  he  was  to  serve 
any  ambition  it  must  be  his  own,  and  they  had 
appointed  Narvaez  to  organise  a  new  reserve  army 
and  with  it  to  pacify  the  south  of  Spain.  He  did  so 
actively,  and  with  a  rigour  worthy  of  Cabrera  himself; 
and  was  received  on  his  return  to  Madrid  with  marked 
cordiality  by  the  Queen  and  ministry.  Espartero,  the 
Commander-in-Chief,  would  brook  no  divided  com- 
mand and  demanded  that  Narvaez  should  now  join 
the  army  of  the  north,  but  this  he  neglected  to  do  ; 
and  on  various  pretexts,  with  the  approval  of  the 
Queen  and  Government,  remained  in  Madrid.  When 
he  proposed,  however,  to  raise  and  command  a  great 
reserve  army,  and  was  authorised  to  do  so  by  the 
Government,  matters  came  to  a  head.  Espartero 
put  his  foot  down  heavily,  and  addressed  a  violent 
protest  to  the  Queen,  which  she  dared  not  disregard, 
and  Narvaez  resigned.  Going  south,  he  endeavoured 
to  utilise  a  popular  tumult  in  Seville  for  the  purpose 
of  overturning  the   Government,   in    order   that   the 





Minister  of  War,  Alaix,  his  personal  enemy  and 
Espartero's  nominee,  should  be  excluded ;  but  his 
design  was  understood  by  the  insurrectionists,  and 
he  and  his  friend,  General  Cordoba,  fled,  protected, 
however,  by  the  Government  itself  from  any  serious 
results.  This  was  the  beginning  of  the  fatal  rivalry 
between  the  Liberal  and  Conservative  generals, 
Espartero  for  the  moment  being  the  victor ;  and 
in  the  new  ministry,  which  the  scandalous  affair  of 
Seville  had  made  necessary,  his  nominee,  Alaix,  was 
again  Minister  of  War,  the  Prime  Minister,  Evaristo 
Perez  de  Castro,  being  an  absolute  nonentity,  the 
real  leader   being  a  "moderate,"  Arrazola. 

This  was  the  condition  of  affairs  in  the  spring  of 
1839  when  Espartero  vvith  the  bulk  of  his  army 
was  attacking  the  formidable  Carlist  positions  of 
Ramales  and  Guardamino,  and  the  main  body  of 
the  Pretender's  forces  under  General  Maroto  was 
held  in  check  by  the  brigade  of  Guards.  Before 
dawn  on  the  12th  of  May  Espartero  received  a 
message  from  Maroto  offering  terms  of  surrender 
for  a  fort,  in  his  keeping,  which  \\'ere  accepted. 
Maroto  had  recently  returned  to  the  Carlist  army 
from  France,  and  was  openly  in  favour  of  a  con- 
ciliatory policy,  for  which  he  was  hated  by  the 
"  apostolics "  who  surrounded  Don  Carlos.  The 
Queen's  cause  was  prospering  greatly  in  Navarre 
under  General  Leon,  in  Aragon  under  O'Donnell, 
and  in  Alava  under  Zurbano ;  for  causes  which 
have  already  been  set  forth  the  Carlists  were  in  tne 
deepest  depression,  and  it  was  no  surprise  to  any 
one  when  Maroto  sought  an  interview  with  Espartero. 

THE    TREATY   OF    VERGARA.  353 

For  at  least  two  years  reconciliation  had  been  in  the 
air,  and  successive  ministers  had  already  spent  vast 
sums  in  bribes  to  bring  it  about,  whilst  intrigue  at 
home  and  abroad  had  been  busy  with  the  same 
object.  When,  at  length,  the  "  apostolics "  in 
the  Carlist  camp  understood  that  Maroto  was 
approaching  Espartero  with  ideas  of  arrangement, 
the  fury  of  their  denunciations  knew  no  bounds. 
Cabrera,  and  the  no  less  terrible  Count  de  Espafia, 
thundered  their  denunciations  against  the  traitor, 
the  priests  alternately  wheedled  and  banned,  and 
poor  Don  Carlos  himself  endeavoured  to  hold  with 
both  sections  of  his  friends  so  as  to  lose  no  element 
of  support,  but  all  in  vain.  By  the  advice  of  Lord 
John  Hay,  the  English  admiral,  Maroto  submitted 
bases  of  an  arrangement  to  Espartero,  founded  on 
the  simultaneous  evacuation  of  Spain  both  by  Don 
Carlos  and  Cristina,  and  the  marriage  of  the  young 
Queen  with  the  Pretender's  eldest  son  ;  peace  and  a 
full  amnesty  being  granted  to  all.  But  Espartero 
would  not  listen  to  such  terms,  nor  would  the  English 
Government  endorse  them. 

After  much  discussion,  in  which  Lord  John  Hay  was 
the  intermediary,  and  more  than  one  abandonment  of 
the  negotiations,  during  which  the  hostilities  con- 
tinued, and  an  "  apostolic  "  pronunciaine^ito  was  made 
against  Maroto  in  the  Carlist  army,  a  meeting  was  held 
on  the  25th  of  August  between  Espartero,  who  was 
accompanied  by  Colonel  Wilde,  and  Maroto.  The 
latter  had  been  playing  a  dangerous  game,  for  Don 
Carlos  and  his  "  apostolics  "  were  ready  to  kill  him 
if  they  could,  although  he  represented  to  them  that 



the  bases  of  agreement  offered  were  infinitely  more 
favourable  than  they  really  were  on  the  great 
question  of  the  recognition  of  the  Basque  privileges. 
This  was  the  point  upon  which  Don  Carlos  and  the 
"apostolics"  hoped  to  prevent  the  Basque  troops 
from  consenting  to  the  agreement,  and  the  poor 
Pretender  made  a  last  effort  to  play  a  heroic  part. 
He  suddenly  appeared  in  full  uniform,  covered  with 
orders,  before  Maroto's  division  at  Elgueta,  his 
intention  being  to  address  a  fervent  harangue  to  the 
soldiers,  and  to  win  them  from  the  side  of  their 
popular  general.  But  the  Bourbon's  voice  was  thin 
and  poor,  his  delivery  mincing,  and  his  person  insig- 
nificant. Stuttering  and  mumbling,  he  made  a  pitiable 
exhibition  of  himself,  and  when  he  asked  the  men 
whether  they  would  shed  their  last  drop  of  blood  for 
him,  their  King,  he  was  answered  by  dead  silence. 
Angrily  he  repeated  the  question  ;  and  still  silence 
greeted  him.  Then  turning  to  a  Basque  general  by 
his  side — "  What  does  this  mean  ?  "  he  said.  "  Oh, 
your  Majesty,"  was  the  reply  of  the  officer,  at  his 
wits'  end  for  an  excuse,  "  they  don't  talk  Spanish." 
"  Then  ask  them  in  Basque,"  commanded  the  King. 
But  the  general  was  one  of  those  who  knew  that 
further  fighting  was  impossible,  and  instead  of 
repeating  the  Pretender's  words  he  asked  in  Basque, 
"  Lads,  do  you  wish  for  peace  ? "  and  from  every 
throat  there  thundered  forth,  as  of  one  accord,  ''Bay 
fauna"  ("  Yes,  sir!  ").  Don  Carlos  understood  enough 
Basque  to  know  the  meaning  of  that,  and  turning 
his  horse  galloped  with  all  speed  to  a  place  of  safety, 
for  he  saw  now  that  he  had  failed,  and  that  Spain 
would  have  him  not. 

THE    TREATY   OF    VERGARA.  355 

On  the  31st  of  August,  1839,  the  famous  Treaty 
of  Vergara^  was  signed  by  Espartero  and  Maroto. 
Drawn  up  opposite  to  each  other  were  the  armies 
of  the  Oueen  and  Don  Carlos.  It  was  still  uncertain 
how  most  of  the  Biscay  men  would  accept  the  recon- 
ciliation, and  the  lives  of  the  generals  hung  in  the 
balance.  But  when  Espartero  and  Maroto  rode 
out  between  the  lines  and  embraced,  all  doubt  was 
at  an  end.  Weapons  were  thrown  aside,  and  with 
frantic  joy  the  troops  fraternised,  recollecting  only 
that  they  were  all  Spaniards.  The  cruel  war  of 
six  years  was  well-nigh  ended,  for  although  Don 
Carlos  still  issued  his  denunciations,  and  wandered 
for  a  time  with  his  ministry  and  a  small  body  of 
troops  in  his  faithful  Navarre,  he  and  his  were  soon 
forced  to  cross  the  frontier  into  exile,  to  see  Spain 
no  more.  Cabrera  obstinately  held  out  for  nine 
months  more  in  Aragon,  fighting  like  a  wild  cat 
at  bay,  but  he,  too,  sick,  disappointed,  and  defeated, 
at  length  accepted  the  inevitable  and  came  to  Eng- 
land to  marry  and  live  in  comfort  and  dignity  for 
the  rest  of  his  life,  to  all  appearance  an  estimable  and 
amiable  gentleman. 

The  joy  of  the  nation  at  the  Treaty  of  Vergara 
was  unbounded,  and  the  Duke  of  Victoria,  as 
Espartero    was    now    styled,    was    a    popular    hero. 

^  The  difficulty  about  terms  was  got  over  by  reducing  the  convention 
simply  to  the  submission  of  Maroto's  troops,  and  the  confirmation  of 
the  ranks  of  the  officers.  No  mention  of  Don  Carlos  is  made  in  the 
document.  The  Cortes,  however,  as  had  been  privately  arranged  by 
Espartero,  confirmed  the  privileges  of  the  Basque  provinces,  which 
exempted  them  from  the  Spanish  customs  dues,  the  national  con- 
scription, and  from  all  interference  with  their  provincial  autonomy. 


The  "  moderates,"  however,  trembled  in  their  shoes 
at  his  now  overwhehning  influence,  and  especially 
.  when  the  newly  elected  Cortes  proved  to  be  strongly 
progressive  in  its  tendency,  and  promptly  passed  a 
vote  of  no  confidence  in  the  Government ;  from 
which  Alaix,  Espartero's  nominee,  had  already 
retired.  Arrazola  and  Perez  de  Castro  were  deter- 
mined to  hold  on  to  power,  and,  advised  by  them, 
Cristina  took  the  unwise  course  of  dissolving  the 
Parliament  that  had  only  just  been  elected 
(November,    1839). 

It  was  evident  now  to  the  Liberals  that  the 
"  moderates "  had  no  intention  of  acting  constitu- 
tionally, for  they  had  dissolved  two  chambers  in 
succession  almost  immediately  after  the  elections, 
and  would  continue  to  do  so  as  often  as  suited 
them.  From  Espartero's  army  in  the  north  came 
ominous  growls  of  protest,  and  if  it  had  dared 
the  "  moderate "  ministry  would  have  made  short 
work  of  the  over-powerful  general.  For  that,  how- 
ever, they  were  not  strong  enough  ;  and  for  the 
moment  they  confined  their  efforts  to  obtaining  a 
large  majority  in  the  new  Cortes  by  the  grossly 
illegal  means  which  nearly  every  Government  of 
Spain  has  employed  for  a  similar  purpose  ;  whilst 
once  more  the  opposition  newspapers  and  orators 
broke  through  all  bounds  of  decency  and  restraint. 
The  uproar  and  violence  amongst  the  spectators  in 
the  galleries  made  the  sittings  of  the  new  Cortes  a 
scandal,  and  discussion  impossible,  whilst  the  ferment 
outside  at  the  persistent  rumours  that  the  Regent 
and  the  Government  had   designs  against   the  Con- 


stitution    (of    1837    be    it    understood)    clearly    fore- 
shadowed   public    disturbance. 

When  the  Minister  of  War,  Montes  de  Oca, 
ordered  the  Captain-General  of  Madrid  to  charge 
the  crowd  that  threatened  the  Congress,  he  was 
told  that  the  troops  could  not  be  depended  upon, 
and  the  capital  was  declared  in  a  state  of  siege. 
In  the  meanwhile  the  Government  made  desperate 
and  successful  efforts  to  re-endow  the  clergy  with 
tithes,  and  to  pass  a  new  Bill  taking  away  from 
the  municipalities  most  of  the  independence  and 
popular  character  conferred  upon  them  by  the  Con- 
stitution of  181 2 — which,  it  will  be  recollected 
was  still  in  force,  with  the  exception  of  the  part 
referring  to  the  Crown  and  the  national  legislature, 
modified  by  the  Constitution  of  1837.  Obstruction 
in  Parliament,  violence  in  the  streets,  and  the  angry 
opposition  of  the  threatened  municipalities,  were, 
however,  only  the  muttering  before  the  storm  :  the 
real  struggle  was  to  be  between  the  ministers  and 

The  latter  had  been  prodigal  of  rewards  to  his 
men  and  was  idolised  by  the  army.  One  of  his 
brigadiers  (Linaje)  had  written  a  vigorous  attack 
upon  the  "  moderates  "  in  a  newspaper,  and  the  Queen 
Regent  ordered  Espartero  to  dismiss  him.  This 
he  not  only  refused  to  do,  but  insisted  upon  the 
officer  being  promoted.  Cristina  was  furious  at  the 
insult,  and  she  and  the  ministry,  for  a  time,  held  out. 
It  was  seen  that  if  they  gave  way  they  would  lose  all 
moral  influence,  whereas  if  they  stood  firm  the  army 
would  join  the  municipalities  and  the  Liberals,  and 


probably  make  a  clean  sweep  of  the  board.  Between 
the  two  evils  the  Government  chose  the  less,  and 
Linaje  was  made  Major-General,  which  meant  that 
Espartero  was  master  of  Spain.  In  the  summer 
(1840)  Cristina  made  a  characteristically  bold  stroke 
for  predominance,  greatly  to  the  apprehension  of  her 
Conservative  ministers.  On  the  plea  of  taking  the 
young  Queen  for  sea-bathing,  a  royal  progress  was 
made  through  Zaragoza  to  Barcelona.  Espartero 
and  his  army  were  in  Cataluila  opposing  Cabrera, 
and  if  he,  or  at  least  his  men,  could  be  won  over  by 
the  personal  efforts  of  the  sovereign,  and  at  the 
same  time  the  wealthiest  city  in  Spain  propitiated, 
Cristina  thought  she  need  fear  the  Liberals  no 

Accompanied  by  a  veritable  army  for  protection 
and  a  brilliant  Court,  the  Queens  did  their  best  to 
please  the  populations  through  which  they  passed. 
Everywhere  they  were  received  with  respect  and  wel- 
come, but  everywhere,  and  especially  in  such  great 
cities  as  Zaragoza  and  Barcelona,  plain  hints  were  given 
— and  often  much  more  than  hints — that  the  Muni- 
cipal Bill  ought  not  to  be  sanctioned  by  the  Queen, 
that  it  was  an  infraction  of  the  Constitution  of 
18 1 2,  which  she  had  sworn  to  respect,  and  was  an 
attempt  on  the  liberty  of  the  people.  Espartero  met 
the  Court  at  Lerida,  riding  by  the  Queen's  coach 
through  most  of  the  Principality  of  Cataluna,  and 
emphatically  warned  Cristina  to  the  same  effect.  He 
left  her  before  she  arrived  at  the  capital,  and  she 
then  began  to  understand  that  she  had  made  a  mis- 
take.    Even  the  troops  cheered  the  Constitution  as 


she  passed  quite  as  much  as  they  cheered  the  Queen. 
Pleased,  however,  with  the  first  welcome  she  received 
in  Barcelona,  and  failing  to  notice  the  inscriptions 
demanding  the  respect  of  the  Constitution  which  were 
mixed  with  more  courtly  decorations,  she  turned 
triumphantly  to  one  of  Espartero's  generals  who  rode 
by  her  side,  and  remarked  :  "  You  see  !  What  do  you 
think  of  my  entry  now  ?  "  to  which  the  officer  replied 
that  he  would  wait  to  see  what  her  exit  was  like  before 
he  gave  an  opinion. 

She  was  soon  undeceived,  for  when  the  popular 
idol,  Espartero,  made  a  triumphal  entrance  a  few 
days  later,  the  whole  population  went  mad  with 
joy,  and  the  welcome  of  the  authorities  threw  their 
reception  of  the  Queen  into  the  shade.  Cristina 
and  the  Government  were  in  a  desperate  rage.  One 
of  the  ministers  being  told  that  the  city  had  voted 
a  golden  crown  for  Espartero,  exclaimed  that  he 
would  be  forced  to  wear  one  of  thorns.  But  in 
face  of  what  she  saw  the  Regent  was  constrained 
to  give  a  promise  to  Espartero  not  to  sanction  the 
municipal  law.  When,  however,  the  Act  arrived  for 
her  signature  her  ministers  insisted,  and  with  fear  and 
hesitation  she  gave  way  and  confirmed  it,  but  earnestly 
begged  the  ministry  to  postpone  the  order  for  its  pro- 
mulgation. Whilst  she  was  hesitating  with  her  pen 
in  her  hand  the  minister,  Perez  de  Castro,  tauntingly 
asked  her,  "  Who  is  monarch  here,  Madame,  you  or 
Espartero  ? "  This  was  more  than  a  daughter  of 
kings  could  bear,  and  with  an  exclamation  of  anger 
Cristina  dashed  her  signature  to  the  order  for  pro- 


This  was  the  signal  for  conflict,  for  it  was  flying 
in  the  face  of  the  people,  the  army,  and  the  most 
popular  personage  in  Spain.  It  made  Cristina  the 
instrument  of  one  political  party  to  destroy  another, 
and  sooner  or  later  made  her  own  downfall  inevi- 
table when  the  party  with  which  she  had  thrown  in 
her  lot  was  defeated.  The  first  result  of  Cristina's 
action  was  the  resignation  of  Espartero  of  his  com- 
mand. An  attempt  was  made  to  placate  him,  and  the 
Queen  told  him  she  did  not  consider  the  time  for  his 
departure  opportune,  as  he  might  be  required  to 
restore  public  order  ;  to  which  he  replied  that  if  order 
was  disturbed  in  consequence  of  what  had  been  done, 
his  troops  were  not  disposed  to  interfere.  "  Go  when 
you  like,  then  1 "  the  Queen  cried  rudely — and  Espar- 
tero went. 

The  Queen  was  right  in  her  apprehensions.  The 
same  night  a  public  rising  shook  Barcelona  from 
end  to  end.  A  great  multitude  cheered  for  Espartero 
and  the  Constitution.  He  prayed  them  to  retire  peace-. 
fully,and  promised  that  whilst  he  lived  the  Constitution 
of  1837  should  not  be  destroyed:  at  the  same  time 
around  the  palace  there  gathered  a  threatening  mob, 
whose  subversive  cries  could  be  heard  by  the  trem- 
bling Queen.  In  a  panic  she  sent  for  Espartero  at 
one  o'clock  in  the  morning,  and  surrendered  com- 
pletely. He  refused  to  coerce  the  people,  and  insisted 
upon  the  immediate  retirement  of  the  ministers.  The 
Queen  in  silent  rage  was  obliged  to  submit,  and  faith- 
fully promised  to  revoke  the  Municipal  Act ;  the 
ministers,  disguised,  fled  to  a  French  vessel  in  the 
harbour,   and    the    tumult    subsided  as  quickly  as  it 

CRISTINA   AT  BAY.  36 1 

had  arisen.  A  Liberal  Government  under  Antonio 
Gonzales  was  at  once  gazetted,  but  when  the  new 
ministers  arrived  at  Barcelona  they  found  Cristina 
fractious  and  indignant  at  the  violence  to  which  she 
had  been  subjected.  They  demanded  the  immediate 
dissolution  of  the  Cortes,  and  the  suspension  of  all  the 
Acts  it  had  passed  ;  but  she  pointed  out  that  these 
demands  were  unconstitutional ;  she  had  already 
dissolved  Parliament  twice  within  a  year,  and  at  least 
the  Government  ought  to  meet  the  present  Chamber, 
and  test  it  by  vote  before  dissolving.  The  Acts,  more- 
over, had  been  legally  passed  and  she  could  not 
suspend  them  at  the  bidding  of  a  ministry  born  of 
public  clamour. 

All  this  proved  that  whilst  Cristina  would  willingly 
forget  the  Constitution  when  a  "  moderate "  govern- 
ment was  in  power,  she  would  hamper  a  Liberal 
ministry  at  every  turn,  and  the  new  ministers  resigned. 
Amidst  much  covert  opposition  from  the  Regent,  and 
infinite  ill-feeling,  another  more  compliant  Liberal 
ministry  was  formed,  with  Valentin  Ferraz  at  its 
head,  willing  to  accept  the  Queen's  terms.  Cristina 
left  Barcelona  with  a  frowning  brow,  and  travelled  to 
Valencia  by  sea,  being  received  with  the  greatest 
coldness,  although  O'Donnell,  the  general  com- 
manding the  troops  there,  was  strongly  Conservative, 
and  the  people  and  press  of  Valencia  made  it  as  clear 
as  those  of  Barcelona  that  the  municipal  law  must  go. 
The  new  minister  (Ferraz),  seeing  in  the  face  of  public 
opinion  the  impossibility  of  governing,  except  with  a 
new  Parliament,  resigned ;  and  Cristina,  now  almost 
at  her  wits'  end,  decided  upon  resistance,  appointing 


another  Conservative  Government  with  a  judge  named 
Modesto  Costazar  as  Premier. 

This  at  once  caused  a  great  public  rising  in  Madrid 
(September  i,  1840),  in  which  the  National  Militia  and 
the  municipality  were  on  the  popular  side.  The  civil 
Governor  was  imprisoned,  and  the  Captain-General, 
overpowered  by  the  militia,  fled.  Most  of  the  troops 
fraternised  with  the  revolutionists,  and  from  the 
municipalities  of  the  great  towns  came  flying  to 
Madrid  messages  of  sympathy  and  support.  A  pro- 
visional Junta  of  government  was  formed,  high  officers 
were  appointed  to  the  provinces,  the  government  of 
the  Queen  was  utterly  repudiated,  and  throughout 
the  kingdom  the  wave  of  revolution  rolled  unchecked. 
Espartero  addressed  a  letter  to  the  Queen,  pointing 
out  that  if  his  advice  had  been  taken  no  trouble 
would  have  occurred,  and  still  offered  to  save  the 
threatened  throne,  but  not  to  crush  liberty  for  the 
sake  of  the  Conservative  party.  His  style  was 
brusque,  to  the  point  of  rudeness,  for  he  was  no 
diplomatist,  but  the  attitude  he  now  adopted  marked 
the  future  course  of  the  reform  party  ;  there  was  to 
be  no  attack  upon  the  monarchy — though  the  word 
Republic  was  on  some  lips — but  the  Constitution 
must  be  loyally  observed.  O'Donnell  offered  to  fight 
the  revolt,  but  Cristina  saw  that  was  impossible,  and 
tried  to  satisfy  the  discontent  by  appointing  a  Liberal 
ministry  of  obscure  men  without  explanation  or 
excuse.  But  the  country  would  not  trust  her ;  the 
revolutionary  government  refused  to  obey,  and  at  last 
she  bent  to  the  inevitable  and  appointed  Espartero 
Prime  Minister  (September  i6th). 

CRISTINA    AT  BAY.  363 

After  some  difficulty  with  the  revolutionary  junta  of 
Madrid  he  formed  his  Government,  and  on  presenting 
its  members  to  the  Queen  in  Valencia,  she  asked,  as 
she  had  done  in  the  case  of  the  Gonzales  ministry,  what 
programme  they  intended  to  follow.  They  resisted 
answering  as  long  as  they  could,  but  at  length  told 
her,  amongst  other  things,  that  the  Cortes  must  be 
immediately  dissolved  and  the  municipal  law  sus- 
pended. She  objected  that  the  law  had  been  legally 
passed  and  could  only  be  altered  by  constitutional 
means ;  but  as  they  insisted  she  said  no  more,  and  they 
took  the  oath  of  office. 

Then  she  shot  the  bolt  she  had  reserved,  and 
handed  to  the  astounded  ministers  her  abdication. 
They  reasoned  and  remonstrated,  but  to  no  purpose. 
She  had  been  vilely  attacked  and  calumniated,  she 
said,  and  would  go  abroad.  This  was  understood  to 
refer  to  the  unsparing  newspaper  comments  upon  her 
connection  with  Muhoz,  and  one  of  the  ministers 
sought  to  calm  her  by  saying  that  since  her  first 
husband's  death,  her  Majesty  was  quite  at  liberty 
to  contract  other  ties,  although  they  would  be 
incompatible  with  the  Regency.  "  It  is  not  true," 
exclaimed  the  Queen  ;  but  as  it  was  notorious  that 
she  was  living  with  Mufioz,  to  whom  she  had  already 
borne  children,  and  it  was  believed  they  were  married, 
another  of  the  ministers  put  the  matter  plainly  by 
telling  her  that  the  public  believed  she  had  contracted 
a  second  marriage  ;  there  was  nothing  wrong  in  that. 
"  I  tell   you  it  is  not  true,"  repeated  Cristina.'     The 

'  The  reason  of  Cristina's  denial  of  her  marriage  at  t!ie  time  was  that 
it  would  have  rendered  her  regency  illegal,  and  have  necessitated  the 


ministers,  thinking  that  it  was  time  it  was  true,  said 
no  more,  and  the  irate  Queen,  rejecting  all  attempts 
to  reconcile  her,  embarked  for  Marseilles  on  the  iSth 
of  October,  under  the  name  of  Countess  of  Vista 
Alegre,  leaving  Espartero  and  his  colleagues  Regents 
by  the  Constitution,  until  the  Cortes  should  appoint  a 
regular  Regency. 

This  revolution  has  been  described  at  some  length, 
because  it  has  been  usual  in  England  to  assume  that 
Cristina  alone  was  to  blame  ;  which  on  impartial  con- 
sideration does  not  appear  to  have  been  the  case.  It 
may  be  granted  that  she  was  extremely  unwise  in  her 
open  preference  for  the  "  moderate "  party,  and  in 
allowing  them  to  turn  parliamentary  institutions  into  a 
farce  ;  but  the  action  of  Espartero  and  the  Liberals 
was  absolutely  indefensible  in  insisting  upon  the  sus- 
pension by  decree  of  Acts  legally  passed,  and  in  their 
appeal  to  armed  mutiny  and  mob  pressure  to  coerce 
the  Queen  to  violate  the  Constitution  which  they  pro- 
fessed to  make  their  fetish.  In  any  case,  the  results 
of  the  revolution  were  lamentable  in  the  extreme. 
Violence  begets  violence ;  and  just  as  the  harsh  action 
of  Fernando  on  his  return  caused  the  rising  of  Riego, 
and  the  latter  ended  in  the  brutal  regime  of  1824,  so 
did  this  violent  action  of  Espartero  and  his  friends 

return  of  the  vast  sum  she  had  received  as  salary.  Her  greed  was 
always  great,  and  on  this  occasion  it  led  her  to  prefer  money  to  her 
own  good  name.  She  really  married  Muiioz,  who  had  sprung  from 
the  humblest  class  of  society,  almost  immediately  after  Fernando's 
death,  but  the  marriage  was  not  acknowledged  until  Cristina's  political 
hopes  were  ended  by  her  daughter's  majority.  Munoz  was  then  created 
Duke  of  Rianzares,  and  lived  until  quite  recent  years,  an  estimable 
and  amiable  gentleman  with  a  weakness  for  speculation. 


find  its  echo,  whose  alternate  reverberations  caused 
Spain  to  tremble  at  intervals  for  the  next  thirty  years. 

The  first  act  of  Espartero's  Government  was  to 
abrogate  the  municipal  and  other  laws  which  gave 
an  excuse  for  the  revolution,  whilst  Cristina  from  her 
exile  in  a  vigorous  manifesto  to  the  Spanish  people 
made  clear  that  she  was  biding  her  time,  and  had 
forgiven  and  forgotten  nothing.  The  "  moderate " 
party  acted  similarly,  and  in  the  new  elections  stood 
aside  almost  completely  ;  witli  the  natural  result  that 
the  Government  obtained  a  great  majority  in  the 
Cortes,  but,  as  is  usual  in  such  circumstances,  the 
majority  was  composed  of  men  widely  differing  in 
the  extent  of  their  liberalism  :  and  bitter  opposition 
was  offered  to  Espartero's  desire  to  obtain  the  sole 
regency;  the  Constitution  of  181 2  having  decreed 
that  a  regency  should  always  consist  of  three  per- 
sons. At  length,  with  a  very  small  majority,  Espar- 
tero's views  prevailed,  and  on  the  loth  of  May,  1841, 
the  provincial  coachmaker's  son,  surrounded  by  regal 
pomp,  took  the  oath  as  Regent  of  Spain  during  the 
minority  of  Isabel   II. 

Like  all  rulers  raised  by  violence,  Espartero  soon 
found  it  impossible  to  satisfy  the  more  advanced 
sections  of  his  own  followers.  He  was  a  man  of  no 
experience,  and  of  little  natural  penetration  ;  his 
military  virtues  of  firmness,  bravery,  and  honesty,  of 
which  he  certainly  made  the  most,  had  raised  him  to 
the  position  of  a  popular  idol,  but  his  political  action 
did  little  to  justify  his  elevation,  and  his  determina- 
tion to  obtain  the  undivided  regency  had  already 
offended  a  large  number  of  Liberals.     On  the  other 


hand,  the  "  moderates "  naturally  looked  upon  him 
as  a  usurper,  and  in  union  with  many  ex-Carlists, 
from  the  first  day,  skilfully  plotted  to  overthrow  him  ; 
whilst  every  Government  in  Europe,  except  that  of 
England,  was  averse  to  him. 

He  began  badly  by  appointing  a  ministry  of 
mediocrities  under  Antonio  Gonzales,  of  which  the 
only  man  of  position  was  Evaristo  de  San  Miguel, 
Minister  of  War  ;  and  the  formal  removal  of  Cristina 
from  the  guardianship  of  her  daughter  was  another 
unnecessary  offence  given  to  the  "  moderates,"  and 
especially  to  Cristina  herself,  who  protested  bitterly 
from  Paris  against  being  deprived  of  her  natural  and 
legal  rights.  Agustin  Arguelles,^  a  man  in  every 
respect  worthy,  was  appointed  guardian  of  the 
Queen  ;  the  poet  Quintana  and  the  widow  of  Mina 
being  made  respectively  tutor  and  governess. 
Although  care  was  taken  to  surround  the  Queen 
with  those  known  to  be  of  Liberal  leanings,  the 
proud  dames,  for  whom  the  palace  was  the  centre  of 
the  world,  could  not  stand  the  presence  of  the 
Countess  Mina — a  shopkeeper's  daughter — and  this 
caused  another  schism.  Cristina's  friends,  t-he  ^ 
"  moderates,"  the  Carlists,  and  the  clergy,  kept  up  the 
irritation  by  ascribing  all  sorts  of  Machiavellian  plans 
to  Espartero  and  Arguelles.  The  Queen,  they  said, 
was  being  purposely  educated  badly,  and  Espartero 
aimed    even    higher    than    the    regency.     At  length, 

'  Arguelles  and  Quintana  were  men  of  such  high  character  that  it  is 
difficult  to  believe  that  they  purposely  neglected  their  duty ;  but  we 
have  the  Queen's  own  word  for  it,  that  she  was  taught  but  little.  She 
certainly  was  badly  brought  up  by  Cristina,  and  was  very  ignorant. 


under  Cristina's  direction  a  regular  revolutionary 
organisation  was  formed,  and  General  Leopold 
O'Donnell  raised  the  standard  of  revolt  in  Pamplona 
in  October,  1841,  promptly  imitated  by  the  generals 
in  Vitoria  and  Zaragoza.  A  junta  of  government 
in  the  name  of  Cristina  was  established  at  Bilbao, 
including  statesmen  of  note  like  Santa  Cruz  and 
Alcala  Galiano ;  and  soon  the  Biscay  provinces  and 
Navarre,  still  trembling  for  privileges  which  were 
threatened  by  the  Liberals,  declared  for  Cristina  ; 
whilst  Madrid  itself  was  the  scene  of  a  drama  unex- 
ampled in  the  history  of  modern  Europe. 

On  the  night  of  the  7th  of  October  General 
Concha  with  a  few  companies  of  the  princess's  regi- 
ment appeared  before  the  palace,  and  as  had  been 
arranged,  the  regiment  on  guard  joined  them,  the 
intention  being  to  seize  the  young  Queen  and  carry 
her  off  to  the  protection  of  the  revolutionary  junta 
appointed  by  Cristina.  A  number  of  prominent  officers, 
under  the  dashing  Diego  de  Leon,  ascended  the 
famous  marble  main  staircase  of  the  palace,  which  had 
extorted  the  admiration  even  of  Napoleon,  to  kidnap 
the  orphan  princesses ;  but  on  the  first  landing  were 
ranged  eighteen  halberdiers  of  the  guard,  commanded 
by  Colonel  Dulce,  who  stoutly  resisted.  Up  the  stair- 
case swarmed  the  mutineers  to  support  their  chiefs, 
but  still  the  dauntless  halberdiers  stood  firm  ;  and 
with  sabre,  pike,  and  bullet  a  bloody  struggle  raged 
through  the  night  for  the  possession  of  the  weeping 
children.  "  Oh  !  don't  let  them  kill  us,"  cried  the 
little  Queen,  as  she  clung  to  the  Countess  Mina;  "we 
will  go  where  they  like  if  you  will  come  with  us." 


But  as  she  spoke  a  bullet  penetrated  the  room  in  which 
they  were,  and  the  princesses  and  the  Countess  fled 
to  safer  quarters.  Still  the  halberdiers  held  firm ; 
for  their  position  on  the  landing  gave  them  the  advan- 
tage, and  every  moment  was  a  loss  to  the  mutineers 

Soon  the  National  Militia  surrounded  the  palace  ; 
the  troops  of  the  garrison  failed  to  join  the  revolt,  as 
had  been  arranged,  and  the  mutinous  officers  took 
to  flight,  just  as  the  dawn  broke,  leaving  their  men 
to  surrender.  Count  de  Requena,  and  Brigadiers 
Ouiroga  and  Frias  were  captured  soon  afterwards, 
hidden  in  charcoal  carts  ;  General  Diego  de  Leon,  the 
most  popular  of  them  all,  was  pursued  and  caught;  and 
a  special  Council  of  War  condemned  them  and  most 
of  their  companions  to  death.  Superhuman  efforts 
were  made  to  save  them,  especially  the  handsome 
General  de  Leon  (Count  of  Belascoain),  and  the  little 
Queen  was  almost  induced  to  exert  illegally  her 
prerogative  of  mercy  but  they  nearly  all  fell  by  the 
bullet,  except  the  few  who  succeeded  in  escaping  to 
France,  and  a  similar  fate  overtook  the  chiefs  of  the 
revolt  in  the  provinces ;  whilst  by  a  stroke  of  the  pen 
of  Espartero  the  time-honoured  privileges  of  the 
Basque  provinces  were  mostly  swept  away. 

This  event  for  a  short  time  strengthened  Espartero, 
but  the  attacks  and  suspicions  of  the  exalted 
Liberals  gave  the  Government  no  truce,  and  in  June, 
1842,  a  vote  of  censure  in  the  Cortes  put  an  end  to 
Gonzales'  ministry ;  and  Espartero,  with  but  little 
political  prescience,  appointed  another  Cabinet  under 
General  Rodil,  drawn  from  exactly  the  same  section 
of    the    majority.      This    forced    him     to    proi'ogue 


Parliament,  which  meant  an  interregnum  of  some 
months,  during  which  he  would  enjoy  a  dictatorship. 
In  the  meanwhile,  as  usual,  the  press  and  the 
orators — especially  the  extreme  Liberals — carried  on 
a  war  without  truce  against  the  Government  and  the 
Regent,  whom  they  now  affected  to  look  upon  as  an 
ambitious  soldier  bent  only  upon  his  own  advance- 
ment and  careless  of  the  revolutionary  creed. 

For  the  first  time,  the  Republican  party  in  Spain 
carried  on  an  organised  propaganda,  and,  in  Cataluna 
especially,  gained  a  strong  following.  Espartero  had 
become  extremely  unpopular  in  Barcelona,  in  conse- 
quence of  his  stern  reproof  and  repression  of  the 
revolutionary  junta  which  had  decreed  the  destruction 
of  the  hated  citadel  :  and  a  formidable  Republican 
rising  took  place  in  the  city  in  November.  The 
Catalan  capital  seemed  suddenly  stricken  with  un- 
governable fury.  From  every  balcony  and  housetop 
missiles,  projectiles,  boiling  oil,  and  burning  com- 
bustibles were  poured  down  upon  the  heads  of  the 
Government  troops.  Not  Republicans  alone  flew  to 
arms,  but  men  of  all  parties ;  for  were  they  not 
Catalans,  and  why  should  Castile  rule  over  them  ? 
Why  should  English  cottons  be  allowed  in  Spain 
whilst  Catalan  looms  could  weave  them  ?  Espartero 
was  the  friend  of  England  :  perish  Espartero ! 
Catalans  were  richer  and  better  than  Castilians  : 
perish  Castilian  rule  !  The  garrison  fled,  a  revolu- 
tionary government  was  formed,  and  Cataluna  was 
declared  separate  from  Castile,  pending  the  establish- 
ment of  a  national  government  more  worthy  than 
that    of    Espartero  ;    and    this    was    only    fourteen 



months  after  Espartero  had  been  welcomed  in  Barce- 
lona almost  as  a  deity.  But  General  Van  Halen  had 
gathered  his  regiments  in  the  suburbs,  Espartero  was 
just  behind  him,  and  the  grim  fortress  of  Monjuich 
still  frowned  down  upon  the  city  and  showed  its 
teeth.  At  the  threat  of  bombardment  the  revolu- 
tionary junta  fled,  and  after  a  few  shells  from 
Monjuich  the  turbulent  city  capitulated  to  Van 
Halen,  who  treated  it  better  than  it  deserved, 
whilst  Espartero  returned  to  Madrid  and  at  once 
dissolved  Parliament,  rather  than  face  it,  under  the 
present  circumstances,  for  the  majority  had  opposed 
his  going  to  Cataluna,  and  he  had  already  decided  to 
remove  the  mild  Van  Halen  and  send  to  Barcelona 
a  governor  who  should  teach  it  better  manners  with 
the  gallows. 

On  the  3rd  of  April,  1843,  the  new^  Cortes  met 
and  the  Government  resigned  rather  than  meet  it,  a 
ministry  being  formed  under  an  eloquent  and  popu- 
lar orator  named  Joaquin  Lopez,  whose  liberalism 
was  considered  more  robust  than  that  of  his  pre- 
decessor. Lopez,  who  belonged  to  the  section  that 
opposed  the  Regent,  soon  fell  out  with  him  by 
insisting  upon  the  removal  of  most  of  the  officers 
and  friends  upon  whom  Espartero  mainly  depended. 
The  Regent  was  obstinate,  and  after  an  acrimonious 
dispute  the  ministry  resigned  (May)  ;  a  more  mode- 
rate Liberal  cabinet  being  appointed,  with  Gomez 
Becerra  as  Prime  Minister,  and  Mendizabal  for 
finance.  But  the  Cortes  had  grown  tired  of  Espar- 
tero's  unstatesmanlike  muddling,  and  insisted  upon 
passing  a  vote  of  confidence    in    Lopez's    ministry  ; 


and  to  this  the  Regent's  dictatorial  and  nnconstitu- 
tional  reply  was  dissolution. 

The  indignant  Cortes,  the  fervid  orators,  and  the 
shrieking  press,  denounced  and  declaimed  against  the 
rule  of  the  rude,  stupid  soldier  whom  a  revolution 
and  popular  extravagance  had  raised  to  his  pedestal. 
The  young  Catalan  brigadier,  Prim,  mutinied  in  June 
at  Reus  with  his  brigade  at  the  cry  of  "  Down  with 
Espartero ! "  Valencia,  Andalusia, Galicia,  followed  suit ; 
and  soon  all  Spain  was  ablaze  again.  In  vain  Mendi- 
zabal  sought  to  conjure  away  the  danger  by  reduction 
of  taxation  and  like  palliatives  ;  but  it  was  too  late. 
The  counter-revolution  spread  ;  Espartero  sought  to 
conciliate  it  by  issuing  reassuring  manifestoes,  but 
finding  this  useless  he  placed  himself  at  the  head  of  his 
army,  and  set  forth  to  conquer  the  revolt  by  force 
of  arms,  after  much  heated  oratory  and  the  the- 
atrical display  before  his  beloved  Madrid  militia  of 
embracing  the  national  flag. 

The  fickle  army  had  changed.  His  name  was  no 
longer  idolised  by  the  soldiers  as  it  had  been. 
Cristina,  tireless,  clever,  and  rich,  with  the  open  sym- 
pathy of  Louis  Philippe,  and  the  aid  of  such  popular 
soldiers  as  Narvaez,  Concha,  O'Donnell,  and  Pezuela, 
had  laid  her  plans  well ;  and  to  his  dismay  Espartero 
found  that  regiment  after  regiment,  province  after 
province,  clamoured  for  his  downfall.    . 

By  the  middle  of  June  Narvaez  and  his  division 
were  besieging  Madrid,  weakly  defended  by  the 
National  Militia.  At  the  call  of  the  ministry  General 
Seoane  hurried  from  Aragon  with  twenty  bat- 
talions to  relieve  it,  and  met  Narvaez's  division  not 


far  from  the  capital.  After  a  few  shots  had  been 
fired  an  extraordinary  comedy  was  played  by  the 
generals.  Narvaez  and  his  men  suddenly  rushed 
into  the  ranks  of  their  opponents,  crying  "  Viva  la 
Constitucion  !  "  "We  are  all  Spaniards,  let  us  em- 
brace." The  Government  troops,  nothing  loth, 
accepted  the  invitation,  and  Seoane  and  Narvaez 
embraced  effusively.  This  was  all  very  well ;  but 
the  men  began  to  ask  each  other  what  it  meant,  and 
which  side  had  given  way.  Seoane  had  been  bought 
to  the  Queen's  side,  but  his  second  in  command, 
Zurbano,  put  spurs  to  his  horse  and  fled  towards 
Madrid,  with  the  cry,  "  We  are  sold  !  "  "  We  are 
sold  ! "  repeated  the  men  :  but  most  of  them  were 
not  very  sorry  ;  and  those  who  appeared  to  be  so, 
were  promptly  disarmed.  During  the  night  the 
army  entered  Madrid  without  resistance,  for  the 
capital  was  trembling  with  apprehension  at  the  idea 
of  the  rule  of  the  sword  wielded  by  the  terrible 
Narvaez,  who  was  as  King  Stork  to  Espartero's  King 

Immediately  the  National  Militia  was  disarmed 
the  Countess  Mina  and  Arglielles  were  expelled  from 
the  palace,  the  administration  of  Government  passed 
into  new  hands,  and  the  counter-revolution  was 
supreme.  In  the  meantime  Espartero,  paralysed  at 
h*s  sudden  unpopularity,  wasted  days  at  Albacete, 
and  then  marched  to  Seville  with  his  rapidly  dwind- 
ling forces.  But  there  as  elsewhere  he  found  himself 
powerless  ;  the  fickle  crowd  had  nothing  but  curses, 
for  their  former  idol,  and  he  escaped  to  a  British 
ship  in  Cadiz  harbour,  whence  he  sailed  to  Lisbon, 


374  Intrigue  and  instability. 

and  thence  to  England,  after  signing  a  protest  against 
the  revolt  that  had  chased  him  from  Spain. 

In  England  Espartero  was  welcomed  as  a  hero  : 
for  he  represented  English  and  Liberal  influence  in 
Spain  as  against  Cristina  and  France.  Banquets  and 
public  receptions  greeted  him  everywhere.  The  Grand 
Cross  of  the  Bath  was  already  his,  and  the  freedom 
of  the  City  of  London  was  now  conferred  upon  him ; 
Queen  Victoria  honoured  him  and  the  people 
cheered  him  :  whilst  in  Spain  the  Lopez  Government 
which  he  had  first  appointed,  and  Narvaez  had  re- 
constituted, denounced  him  by  decree  as  a  traitor, 
and  stripped  him  and  his  friends  of  all  their  honours, 
titles,  and  emoluments.  This  was  lex  talioTiis  indeed, 
but  both  Cristina  and  Narvaez  had  heavy  scores  to 
settle,  for  they  had  met  with  scant  consideration 
from  the  Duke  of  Victoria  in  the  short  hour  of  his 

The  dissentient  Liberals  soon  found  out  their 
mistake  in  coalescing  with  the  revolt.  Narvaez,  now 
Commander-in-chief  and  Governor  of  Castile,  was  a 
harsh  martinet  who  trampled  upon  all  who  opposed 
him,^  and  when  the  Catalans  found  that  nothing  was 
to  be  done  specially  for  them,  Barcelona  revolted 
again,  and  for  the  next  ten  weeks  went  through  all 
the  horrors  of  a  siege,  in  which  the  heroic  people 
were  sacrificed  without  mercy  or  quarter,  five  thousand 
projectiles  being  thrown  into  the  city  in  three  days^ 

'  It  is  of  him  that  the  story  is  told,  most  probably  untruly,  that  on 
his  death-bed  he  was  urged  to  forgive  those  who  had  injured  him,  and 
astonished  his  confessor  by  saying  that  he  had  none  to  forgive.  When 
asked  how  that  could  be,  he  replied  that  he  had  shot  them  all. 


bombardment.  Zaragoza,  Leon,  Vigo,  Gerona, 
Figueras,  and  other  fortresses  of  the  first  class  fol- 
lowed the  example  of  Barcelona,  and  in  their  turn 
were  reconquered  by  armed  force.  It  was  felt  that 
Cristina  could  not  come  back  as  Regent,  and  the 
nation  would  hardly  stand  another  upstart  soldier 
in  the  position  ;  so  hastily  a  Cortes  was  elected, 
and  the  young  Queen  was  declared  of  age  on  the 
8th  of  November,  1843,  the  deluded  people  once 
more  giving  way  to  unreflecting  rejoicing  in  the 
hope  that  the  era  of  rival  regencies  had  passed  away 
for  ever. 

The  girl  who  was  thus  at  the  age  of  thirteen  suddenl}- 
called  to  act  the  part  of  a  constitutional  monarch 
deserves  a  few  words  of  description,  for  she  became 
one  of  the  most  extraordinary  public  personages  of  our 
century,  a  woman  so  full  of  problematical  contradic- 
tions of  conduct  and  character  as  to  make  her 
personality  a  psychological  puzzle,  even  to  those  who 
were  brought  into  most  frequent  contact  with  her. 
At  the  period  of  which  we  are  now  speaking  she  was 
a  stoutly  built,  very  precocious  girl  with  full  cheeks,  a 
snub  nose,  and  thick,  sensuous  lips,  incredibly  igno- 
rant, but  with  a  great  deal  of  natural  shrewdness  ; 
in  manner  somewhat  bluff,  jovial,  and  outspoken, 
partaking  of  her  father's  malicious  jocosity  and  her 
mother's  frank  fascination.  She  was  good-hearted 
and  generous  to  the  point  of  prodigality,  impulsive 
and  imprudent  beyond  belief,  even  for  so  young  a 
girl,  and  this  quality  she  has  never  lost.  With  no 
stead}'ing  sense  of  responsibility  whatever,  she  had 
yet  a  high  notion   of  queenly  dignity,  and  a   noble 


carriage,  which  frequently  invested  acts  of  thoughtless 
levity  with  an  appearance  of  magnanimous  con- 

The  part  she  was  called  upon  to  play  was  an 
almost  impossibly  difficult  one.  She  owed  her 
crown  to  the  political  party  opposed  to  reaction, 
and  now  held  it  on  a  constitutional  tenure  ;  and  yet 
it  was  the  sacred  injunction  of  her  father  and  the 
tradition  of  the  family  to  which  she  belonged,  that 
the  absolute  power  wielded  by  her  forefathers  must 
be  handed  down  unimpaired  from  generation  to 
generation.  In  her  short  life  she  had  seen  violence 
and  illegality  under  specious  names  employed  by 
ambitious  men  for  the  purpose  of  seizing  power, 
which  they  used  to  persecute  and  condemn  every- 
thing their  predecessors  had  taught  her  to  respect. 
She  had  seen  fine  words  and  high  professions  cloaking 
mean  deeds  ;  she  had  seen  bloodshed,  tyranny,  cruelty, 
and  rapine  masquerading  under  the  garb  of  liberty  ; 
her  mother  an  idol  one  day  and  a  fugitive  the  next ; 
Espartero  a  hero  and  a  hunted  traitor  within  a  month, 
and  it  is  no  wonder  that  her  belief  in  truth,  honour, 
and  patriotism  was  already  wavering  at  an  age  when 
most  girls  believe  no  evil. 

The  declaration  of  the  Queen's  majority  was  in 
direct  contravention  of  the  Constitution,  but  this  was 
only  one  of  the  many  instances  in  which  the  latter 
had  been  violated  by  the  new  rulers.  The  fervid 
Radical  Prime  Minister,  Lopez,  who  had  at  first  with 
his  party  coalesced  with  the  "  moderates  "  with  the  sole 
object  of  turning  out  Espartero,  had  now  quite  sub- 
mitted   to  the  reactionary  programme    of  his    asso- 

OLOZAGA.  377 

ciates.  But  as  the  Conservative  majority  of  the 
Cortes  still  distrusted  him,  and  the  advanced  Liberals 
gave  him  no  support,  another  coalition  ministry  was 
formed,  which  it  was  hoped  might  meet  with  better 
acceptance.  The  Premier  was  a  young  man  of  great 
eloquence,  boldness,  and  ability,  a  former  advanced 
Liberal  named  Salustiano  de  Olozaga,  who  was  now 
president  of  the  chamber.  He  had  refused  office 
repeatedly,  bent  upon  playing  a  great  part  when 
the  time  should  seem  appropriate.  He  thought  the 
opportunity  had  arrived  and  seized  it,  his  idea  being  to 
gain  for  the  advanced  Liberals  the  ascendency  in  the 
Government  of  which  Narvaez  and  the  "  moderates  " 
had  deprived  them. 

Liberals  throughout  the  country  were  grumbling 
that  the  Conservatives  had  been  unable  to  over- 
throw Espartero  by  themselves,  and  now  that  the 
Liberals  had  been  mainly  instrumental  in  doing  it 
the  result  was  a  reghne  of  almost  undisguised  re- 
action. Olozaga  began  by  issuing  a  few  decrees 
that  delighted  the  progressives,  and  struck  the 
"  moderates "  with  indignation  and  dismay.  There 
was,  of  course,  a  strong  Conservative  majority  in  the 
Cortes,  and  Olozaga's  office  appeared  not  worth  a 
day's  purchase.  This  he  had  foreseen  and  intended  : 
his  plan  being  to  go  down  to  the  House  with  a 
decree  of  dissolution  in  his  pocket,  cause  a  new  par- 
liament of  Liberals  to  be  elected,  and  place  the 
"moderates"  in  the  background.  It  was  a  bold  plan, 
but  it  failed.  On  the  29th  of  November  all  Madrid 
rang  with  the  news  that  the  Prime  Minister  had  used 
violence  towards  the  Queen,  and  in  the  afternoon  a 


special  issue  of  the  Gazette  announced  that  Olozaga 
had  been  dismissed.  Public  opinion,  as  usual,  took 
sides.  The  progressists  declared  that  this  was  a 
palace  intrigue,  whilst  the  "  moderates"  and  their  news- 
papers raised  their  eloquent  cries  to  heaven  against 
this  impious  insult  to  the  majesty  of  the  throne. 

In  the  Cortes  when  the  matter  was  debated  the 
Conservatives  were  for  hurrying  Olozaga  to  the  scaffold 
at  once  without  trial ;  vehement  eloquence,  without 
stint  and  without  blemish,  poured  forth  in  irresistible 
floods  in  attack  and  defence  ;  but  withal  Olozaga  and 
his  friends  did  not  venture  to  give  the  lie  direct  to  the 
Queen's  formal  notarial  deposition  of  the  facts  read 
by  the  new  Prime  Minister,  Gonzales  Brabo,  the 
erstwhile  scurrilous  editor  of  the  satirical  extreme 
Liberal  print  the  Guirigay,  but  thenceforward  the 
chief  of  the  reactionaries  who  gradually  led  Isabel 
on  the  road  to  ruin. 

The  Queen's  declaration  set  forth  that  Olozaga 
had  presented  to  her  a  decree  for  the  dissolution 
of  Parliament,  which  she  declined  to  sign,  and  upon 
his  insisting,  as  she  thought  rudely,  she  rose  to 
leave  the  room.  He  sprang  to  the  door  nearest  to 
her  and  locked  it,  and  similarly  prevented  her  escape 
by  another  door  ;  then  grabbing  her  by  the  dress  he 
pulled  her  to  the  table,  seized  her  hand  roughly,  and 
by  main  force  compelled  her  to  append  to  the  decree 
the  flourish  which  in  Spain  takes  the  place  of  the 
signature.  How  much  of  this  was  true  it  is  impos- 
sible now  to  say,  for  all  the  parties  are  dead  but 
Isabel  II.  Liberals  always  affected  to  believe  that  it 
was    a   mere   farrago  of  lies  invented  by  the  palace 


"  moderates,"  but  having  in  view  Olozaga's  dictatorial 
temper  and  his  subsequent  history,  it  is  difficult  now 
for  an  impartial  person  to  refuse  belief  to  the 
Queen's  statement.  Olozaga,  with  unsurpassed 
eloquence,  pleaded  that  in  the  decree  annulling  the 
Queen's  signature  to  the  dissolution,  not  a  hint  was 
given  that  the  signature  had  been  extorted  from  her, 
but,  as  such  documents  are  always  drafted  on  formal 
lines,  that  proves  nothing.  In  any  case  Olozaga  was 
forced  to  fly  to  England  ;  and  thenceforward  for  a 
time,  under  the  unscrupulous  and  shameless  Gonzales 
Brabo,  the  pamphleteer  and  gutter  journalist,  reaction 
ruled  unchecked. 

Rigid  press  laws  were  passed,  the  elective 
municipalities  abolished,  and  the  National  Militia 
dissolved  ;  but  when  it  came  to  altering  the 
Constitution  itself  and  abrogating  or  moderating  all 
the  clauses  which  imposed  restraint  upon  the  Crown 
and  the  executive,  Gonzales  Brabo  made  way  for 
Narvaez  as  dictator,  and  a  packed  Parliament,  from 
which  the  Liberals  withdrew,  voted  as  directed. 
Cristina  and  her  family  came  back  with  flying 
colours,  full  of  a  fresh  plan  for  strengthening  the 
"  moderates "  and  the  royal  prerogative,  to  which 
reference  will  be  made  presently  ;  Espartero's  name 
was  blackened  without  mercy,  whilst  the  dictator 
Narvaez  grew  more  insolent  and  overbearing  every 
day,  to  the  outspoken  disgust  even  of  his  own  party. 

Partial  risings  were  effected  by  the  discontented 
Liberals  in  many  provinces,  beginning  with  Alicante 
and  Cartagena  ;  and  in  October,  1844,  General  Zur- 
bano  raised  the  standard  of  revolt  in  the  Rioja,  but 


was  caught  and  shot.^  The  new  system  of  taxation 
and  finance  introduced  by  the  minister  Mon  -  caused, 
in  the  spring  of  1846,  a  revolt  in  Galicia  which  for  a 
time  imperilled  the  existence  of  the  Government,  as 
the  rising  was  not  solely  supported  by  one  party. 
General  Solis,  with  a  battalion  of  infantry,  first  raised 
the  cry,  "Viva  the  Queen  in  liberty  !  Viva  the  Consti- 
tution ,'  Out  with  the  foreigner ! "  and  like  wildfire 
the  whole  province  and  many  regiments  caught  the 
infection.  Revolutionary  juntas  were  formed  in  the 
cities,  led  by  the  capital,  Santiago  :  the  ex-National 
Militia  was  convoked,  and  for  a  time  the  Government 
was  overpowered.  Cristina  and  the  palace  clique  were 
in  a  panic,  for  "  Out  with  the  foreigner ! ''  was  a  cry 
that  threatened  to  overturn  all  their  plans,  particularly 
as  the  young  Don  Enrique,  second  son  of  the  Infante 

'  Narvaez  shot  no  less  than  214  persons  in  this  year,  1844,  for 
poHtical  ofilences.  Almost  simultaneously  with  these  risings  in  Spain 
revolts  broke  out  at  Manila — under  the  native  sergeant  Samaniego — 
and  in  Cuba.  The  movement  in  the  latter  country  began  with  the 
white  Creoles,  but  soon  gave  way  to  a  more  formidable  rising  of  blacks 
against  their  masters,  which  the  Captain-General  O'Donnell  crushed 
with  ruthless  and  sanguinary  ferocity  in  the  summer  of  1S44. 

^  This  well-meant  but  gigantic  and  unpopular  financial  revolution 
consisted  of  a  great  simplification  of  taxation.  Mon  had  to  face  a 
terrible  state  of  affairs.  There  was  a  floating  debt  of  over  twenty-five 
millions  sterling,  a  million  and  a  half  Colonial  overdrafts,  and  an  annual 
budget  deficit  of  two  millions ;  all  salaries  and  pensions  were  a  year  in 
arrear  at  least.  Mon's  great  plan  was  to  raise  an  additional  three 
millions  sterling  by  a  direct  tax  on  land  to  take  the  place  of  the 
abolished  tithe  and  a  perfect  crowd  of  ancient  exactions.  All  the  host 
of  old  vexatious  dues  on  movement  and  industry  were  also  unified  into 
a  single  direct  tax  on  all  merchandise  and  manufactures,  another  direct 
tax  on  incomes  from  invested  personal  property  was  established,  and  a 
fourth  on  sales  and  mortgages  of  realty.  The  large  number  of  indirect 
taxes  on  food,  &c.,  were  also  unified. 

FALL    OF   NARVAEZ.  38 1 

Don  Francisco,  had  given  his  adhesion  to  the  revolt, 
from  the  warship  he  commanded  at  Corona.  The 
first  move  of  Cristina  and  her  friends,  when  discon- 
tent was  evident  before  this  rising,  had  been  to  hghten 
their  burden  by  throwing  over  the  unpopular  Narvaez,^ 
who  resigned,  to  the  delight  of  all  parties  ;  and  a  new 
palace  ministry  was  formed  under  the  Marquis  de 
Aliraflores  (February,  1846),  followed  by  two' other 
ministries  in  a  i&w  weeks,  the  Galician  revolt  being 
drowned  in  blood  b}-  General  Jose  Concha  and  the 
Captain-General  Villalonga  during  the  ministry  of 

We  have  seen  that  the  ten  years  which  had  elapsed 
since  the  death  of  Fernando  VII.  had  been  an 
unbroken  period  of  civil  war  and  semi-anarchy. 
Violent  changes  of  government,  military  mutinies, 
public  disturbance,  and  general  distrust  had  done 
their   worst    to    ruin    the    unhappy    country,  already 

"  The  history  of  his  resignation  is  obscure  ;  but  it  is  believed  that  he 
resigned  in  order  to  get  rid  of  his  colleagues  Mon  and  Pidal,  who  had 
opposed  Cristina  in  her  suggestion  of  the  Neapolitan  prince,  her 
brother  Count  Trapani,  as  a  husband  for  the  Queen.  If  this  was  so 
Nar\-aez  himself  was  tricked.  What  followed  during  the  next  few 
weeks  has  always  been  a  puzzle,  and  will  probably  remain  so.  The 
Queen,  apparently  out  of  mere  caprice,  threw  every  obstacle  in 
Miraflores'  way,  and  when  he  refused  her  extraordinary  demand  to 
dissolve  Parliament  she  dismissed  him.  Then  Narvaez  came  back  with 
a  great  show  of  force,  but  in  his  case  again  some  power  behind  the 
girl-Queen  made  his  government  impossible,  and  he  fell  in  a  fortnight, 
being  succeeded  in  the  summer  of  1846  by  Isturiz.  Narvaez,  in  fact, 
had  not  answered  the  expectations  of  the  extreme  absolutists  of  the 
palace,  who  wished  him  to  abolish  the  Constitution  altogether. 
Cristina,  in  a  rage,  during  his  short  second  ministry,  said  he  was  worse 
than  Espartero — he  certainly  was  more  dictatorial  and  insolent — and  he 
had  to  take  refuge  in  France  after  his  resignation. 


exhausted  by  the  blighting  effect  of  Fernando's  cast- 
iron  despotism.  The  net  result  was  politically  dis- 
appointing, but,  at  all  events,  it  was  a  mark  of  progress 
that  rigid  absolutism  had  been  vanquished  with  the 
disappearance  of  Don  Carlos  from  the  scene,  and  that, 
even  in  the  era  of  military  reaction  under  Narvaez, 
neither  he  nor  any  other  responsible  man  dared  to 
revert  to  the  older  ideas  by  abolishing  the  Constitu- 
tion altogether,  however  much  they  might  seek  to 
weaken  it  in  an  anti-democratic  direction.  The  time, 
indeed,  had  gone  by  for  ever  when  by  a  stroke  of 
a  pen  the  Spanish  people  would  meekly  consent  to 
be  turned  into  vassals  again. 

But  the  change  in  this  respect  was  only  the 
extension  to  Spain  of  the  political  and  intellectual 
awakening  that  was  taking  place  throughout  Europe 
at  the  time.  The  irresistible  reform  movement  in 
England  and  the  overthrow  of  absolutism  in  France 
(July,  1830)  coincided  in  point  of  time  with  the 
formation  of  new  ideals  in  literature,  science,  and 
art.  Breaking  with  classic  models,  the  intellect  of 
both  countries  gave  to  its  creations  a  freedom  and 
picturesqueness,  a  wider  scope  and  a  warmer 
imagination  than  had  animated  art  for  a  century 

The  death  of  Fernando  and  the  events  that 
followed  it  brought  back  to  Spain  the  bright 
spirits  which  despotism  had  scattered  into  exile ; 
and  they  returned  saturated  with  the  ideas  of 
the  romantic  school,  modified  somewhat  by  the 
influence  of  the  particular  countries  in  which  they 
had    passed    their     banishment,    but    always    vivid, 


luxuriant,  and  fertile.  Those  who  had  Hved  in 
England,  such  as  Saavedra,  Trueba,  Jose  Joaquin 
Mora,  Galiano,  Espronceda,  and  a  host  of  others, 
came  home  filled  with  Walter  Scott  and  Byron  ; 
others  who  had  wandered  and  waited  in  France 
transplanted  to  the  congenial  soil  of  Spain  the 
brilliant  romantic  impressionism  of  Victor  Hugo  and 
Dumas,  the  result  being  that  the  ten  years  now  under 
review — 1834  to  1844 — notwithstanding  the  deplor- 
able condition  of  the  country,  were  marked  by  an 
abundance  and  excellence  of  intellectual  production 
such  as  had  rarely  been  equalled  by  a  like  period 
before,  and  never  since. 

As  usual  in  Spain,  the  most  characteristic  works 
took  the  dramatic  form.  Martinez  de  la  Rosa,  poli- 
tician as  he  was,  found  time  to  write  much  affected 
and  sentimental  poetry ;  but  on  the  stage  he  was 
natural  and  dignified,  his  "  Conjuracion  de  Venecia  " 
(April,  1834)  being  his  finest  historical  drama.  In  all 
respects,  however,  he  was  beneath  Angel  Saavedra 
(Duke  of  Rivas),  who  rose  to  sublimity  on  the  stage 
in  his  splendid  "  Don  Alvaro,  6  la  fuerza  del  sino  " 
(1836),  and  in  his  historical  romances  and  lyric  poetr)', 
especially  "  Al  faro  de  Malta  "  and  "  El  Moro  Esposito." 
To  the  same  period  belongs  the  drama  "  El  Trovador  " 
(upon  which  Verdi's  opera  is  founded),  by  Antonio 
Garcia  Gutierrez,  and  Espronceda's  Byronic  poems 
"El  Diablo  Mundo"  and  "El  Estudiante  de  Sala- 
manca." But  a  greater  poet  than  them  all,  Jose 
Zorilla,  received  his  inspiration  from  similar  sources, 
and  at  the  same  time,  though  his  finest  work  was  done 
somewhat  later.     His  poems,  like  those  of  Scott,  were 


revivals  of  national  legends  ;  but  his  work  for  the 
stage,  "  Don  Juan  Tenorio,"  "  La  Mejor  Razon  la 
Espada,"  "  El  Zapatero  y  el  Rey,"  and  other  dramas, 
though  gloomy,  are  the  best  outcome  of  his  genius. 
Another  young  author,  afterwards  to  become  one  of 
the  brightest  ornaments  of  Spanish  literature,  made 
at  this  period  his  first  success.  He  was  a  young 
German  cabinet-maker  named  Juan  Eugenio  Hartzen- 
busch,  and  with  his  drama, "  Los  Amantes  de  Teruel  " 
(1837),  he  firmly  established  his  fame.  The  histories  of 
Galiano  and  Count  de  Toreno  have  somewhat  suffered 
from  the  fame  of  their  authors  as  orators  and  states- 
men, but  they  still  remain  the  leading  authorities  of  the 
events  they  relate. 

Nor  was  this  intellectual  spring  confined  to  the 
capital,  or  even  to  Castilian  writing.  The  constant 
disturbance  in  Catalufia  had  driven  many  prominent 
Catalans  into  exile.  These  in  due  time  returned  to 
their  own  country,  and  Barcelona  became  the  centre 
of  a  revival  of  Romance  literature,  as  remarkable  in 
its  way  as  that  which  has  occurred  within  the  last  few 
years  in  the  South  of  France.  In  the  case  of  Catalufia 
the  influence  in  the  form  of  the  renascence  was 
mainly  English  and  German,  in  contradistinction  to 
French :  and  legends  and  stories  in  romantic  Catalan 
prose  and  verse,  after  the  style  of  Scott  and  the 
Schlegels,  were  published  in  abundance  and  read  with 
avidity  ;  the  most  esteemed  authors  of  the  school  being 
Pablo  Piferrer,  Mila  y  Fontanals,  and  the  poet  Aribau. 

This  literary  activity  spread  from  Madrid  and 
Barcelona  to  the  most  remote  provinces.  Picturesque 
patriotism,  always  a  dominant  passion  in  Spaniards, 


spurred  now  by  the  inspired  verse  and  moving  plays 
of  poets  like  Zorilla  and  Aribau,  found  vent  in  a 
literary  form  for  the  bubbling  verbosity  of  the  race, 
which  had  previously  spent  its  force  in  political  decla- 
m.ationand  press  polemics.  Everywhere  "Athenaeums" 
and  "Lyceums"  sprang  up  for  the  promotion  of 
literature,  and  men  of  all  classes  and  all  ages — and, 
it  may  be  added,  of  all  degrees  of  incapacity — threw 
themselves  into  the  task  of  producing,  and  when  pos- 
sible of  declaiming,  romantic  prose,  or  more  or  less 
Byronic  verse.  From  the  welter  of  these  literary 
orgies  there  nevertheless  arose  some  young  poets  of 
the  first  rank,  who  in  the  following  decade  endowed 
their  country  with  work  which  lives.  Zorilla,  Tas- 
sara,  and  Pastor  Diaz  were  already  gaining  fame  at 
the  time  of  which  we  write,  but  Campoamor  and  Rubi 
were  as  yet  in  their  literary  infancy.  These  are  but 
a  few  names  amongst  the  many  which  made  of  the 
decade  following  the  death  of  Fernando  a  period 
similar  to  the  palmy  age  of  the  poet-King  Philip  IV.; 
and  when  it  is  added  that  the  Madrazos  painted, 
and  Romea  acted  at  the  same  time,  it  will  be 
admitted  that  Spain  was  in  no  way  backward  in 
artistic  development,  however  unhappy  she  was 

Notwithstanding  the  deplorable  state  of  revolution 
and  insecurity,  the  upper  and  middle  classes  shook  off 
the  incubus  of  despotism  which  had  confined  them 
to  coarse  and  trivial  pleasures,  and,  at  least  in  the 
large  cities,  seriously  set  to  work  to  raise  and  improve 
the  condition  of  their  poorer  neighbours,  and  to 
demand    some    modern     comfort    and    elegance   for 



themselves.  Educational  societies  and  free  schools 
sprang  up  in  all  the  populous  centres,  the  noble 
Savings  Bank  in  Madrid  was  founded  (1838),  and  a 
host  of  other  instrumentalities  were  started  with 
similar  objects.  But  for  the  curse  of  corrupt  party 
politics  and  the  ambition  of  unscrupulous  soldiers, 
there  was  no  reason  why  the  young  Queen  should  not 
marry  happily  and  lead  her  struggle-wearied  country 
up  the  safe  path  of  uneventful  and  unexciting  pros- 
perity, for  which  all  elements  existed.^ 

This  question  of  the  Queen's  marriage,  however, 
was  unfortunately  made  the  bone  of  contention 
between  political  parties  and  national  jealousy  with 
lamentable  results.  Looking  back  fifty  years  since 
the  dispute  raged  so  bitterly,  we  can  smile  at  the 
irony  of  fate  which  has  belied  all  the  ambitions  and 
apprehensions  of  rival  statesmen.  It  has  become 
an  article  of  faith  with  Englishmen  that  it  was 
solely  the  unscrupulous  falsity  of  Guizot  and 
Louis  Philippe  which  so  nearly  brought  about  a 
war  between  France  and  England  on  this  subject, 
but  an  impartial  re-examination  of  the  whole  of 
the  elements  of  the  case  tends  to  show  that  the 
bad  faith  was  not  theirs  alone.  The  exaggerated 
distrust  on  both  sides  appears  at  first  not  to  have  been 
justified  ;  it  was  really  the  action  respectively  of 
Cristina,  the  "  moderates,"  and  the  Coburg  family 
which  forced  the  two  great  contending   nations  into 

'  In  spite  of  the  constant  wars  and  revolutions  a  most  remarkable 
advance  in  public  wealth  was  made  from  1830  to  1846.  The  estimated 
total  revenue  of  the  country  in  the  former  year  was  ;^6,ooo,ooo  sterling ; 
in  the  latter  year  it  was  ;^I2, 000,000. 

THE   queen's  marriage.  387 

antagonism.  For  it  must  not  be  forgotten  that,  though 
France  and  England  threw  the  blame  of  bad  faith 
entirely  on  each  other,  the  heart  of  the  intrigue  was 
in  the  party  politics  of  Spain.  It  has  been  shown 
that  from  the  time  of  the  Peninsular  War  the  Con- 
stitutional or  Liberal  party  had  naturally  turned  to 
England  for  their  inspiration,  whilst  the  absolutists 
and  their  successors  the  "  moderates  "  had  as  persis- 
tently striven  for  a  close  alliance  with  France. 

We  have  seen  how,  during  the  Carlist  War,  the 
Queen-Regent  and  her  friends  had  unsuccessfully 
pressed  Louis  Philippe  to  intervene  in  force  as  a 
counterbalance  to  the  open  aid  being  given  by 
England  against  Don  Carlos.  Whilst  it  was  necessary 
for  the  French  king  to  avoid  entanglements  with 
the  legitimist  Powers  and  England,  it  was  impossible 
for  him  to  forget  French  traditional  interests  to  the 
extent  of  allowing  a  dynasty  under  English  influence 
to  be  established  in  Spain,  as  it  had  been  in  Portugal 
by  the  marriage  of  the  Queen  Maria  da  Gloria  to 
Ferdinand  of  Saxe-Coburg,  the  cousin  both  of  Queen 
Victoria  and  of  her  husband.  When,  therefore,- 
Cristina  fled  to  France  in  1840,  and  Espartero 
openly  repulsed  the  French  envoy,  the  Spanish  Queen- 
mother  hinted  that  her  daughter  might  marry  the 
Duke  d'Aumale.  But  Louis  Philippe  knew  that 
England  would  not  allow  this,  and  formed  the  plan 
of  marrying  Isabel  to  one  of  the  Spanish  or  Italian 
Bourbons,  whilst  his  own  youngest  son,  the  Duke 
de  Montpensier,  might  be  well  provided  for  in  the 
present,  and  gain  vague  but  unlimited  prospects  for 
the  future,  by  wedding  the  younger  Spanish  princess 



Fernanda,  to  whom  her  father  had  left  a  vast  private 

Guizot  mentioned  such  a.  plan  to  Palmerston  in 
Paris  in  1840,  but  the  British  minister  would  not  hear 
of  it,  because,  he  said,  in  the  case  of  Isabel's  death  child- 
less, the  French  prince  would  become  King-consort, 
which  England  could  not  tolerate.  At  the  same  time 
the  French  were  quite  justifiably  determined  that  no 
prince  not  a  Bourbon  should  occupy  the  position  of 
the  Spanish  Queen's  husband,  and  were  uncertain  to 
what  extent  the  English  Government  would  go  in 
thwarting  them  in  this.  A  plan  was  therefore  hatched 
between  Cristina  and  Guizot  for  the  former  to  profess 
to  the  English  Government  a  desire  that  Prince 
Leopold  of  Coburg,  the  brother  of  the  King-consort  of 
Portugal,  should  marry  Isabel  ;  and  this  she  did  on 
three  different  occasions  in  1841.  Palmerston  was 
not  in  favour  of  the  suggested  match,  and,  suspecting 
the  ruse,  gave  no  encouragement  to  it. 

When  in  August,  1841,  Lord  Aberdeen  succeeded 
Palmerston  as  Foreign  Minister,  the  connection  be- 
tween the  English  Government  and  the  Spanish 
reformers  became  somewhat  less  cordial, ^  and  Aber- 
deen and  Guizot  had  no  difficulty  in  agreeing  for 
England  to  accept  as  a  husband  for  Isabel  II.  any 
Bourbon  not  a  French  prince.  How  far  in  these 
circumstances  the  English  court — as  apart  from  the 

'  Guizot's  plan  was  to  lull  the  susceptibilities  of  Peel's  Government 
and  so  to  divide  the  English  from  the  Spanish  reformers.  He  wrote 
to  the  French  Ambassador  in  England  (March,  1842):  "It  is  by 
detaching  England  from  the  Spanish  revolutionists  that  we  may  hope 
to  effect  something  in  Spain  for  Spain  and  ourselves." 


Government — privately  encouraged  the  suit  of  Prince 
Leopold  of  Coburg  it  is  difficult  to  say ;  but  it  is 
certain  that  Lord  Aberdeen  and  the  Peel  ministry 
were  perfectly  sincere  and  honest  in  their  promise  not 
actively  to  forward  his  candidature.  Queen  Victoria 
and  her  husband  visited  Louis  Philippe  at  Eu  in 
September,  1845,  when  an  agreement  was  arrived  at 
to  the  effect  that  England  would  not  aid  or  recognise 
any  candidate  for  Isabel's  hand  who  was  not  a 
Bourbon  descendant  of  Philip  V.  of  Spain,  and  that 
after  the  Spanish  Queen  had  -married  and  had  children, 
and  not  before,  her  sister  the  Infanta  might  marry 
Montpensier,  and  so,  as  Guizot  wrote  at  the  time, 
succeed  only  to  "  les  chances  inconnues  d'un  avenir 

It  will  be  seen  that  the  undertaking  of  England 
was  a  negative  one ;  she  did  not  pledge  herself 
actively  to  resist  any  candidature  other  than  that  of 
a  Bourbon,  but  only  to  refrain  from  promoting  such 
a  candidature.  Aberdeen,  indeed,  distinctly  told 
Guizot  that  he  would  not  move  actively  in  any  way. 
"  Et  quant  a  la  candidature  du  Prince  Leopold  vous 
pouvez  etre  tranquille  sur  ce  point.  Je  reponds  qu'elle 
ne  sera  ni  avouee  ni  appuyee  par  I'Angleterre,  et 
qu'elle  ne  vous  genera  pas."  This  was  in  the  late 
autumn  of  1845,  and  shortly  afterwards  French  sus- 
picions were  aroused  by  the  visit  of  Prince  Leopold 
and  his  father  to  Portugal,  and  by  the  zealous  and  in- 
discreet action  in  his  favour  of  Sir  Henry  Bulwer,  the 
English  Minister  in  Spain.  Espartero  and  Olozaga, 
with  scores  of  other  Liberals,  were  in  England,  intri- 
guing with  the  English  Whigs  and  corresponding  with 


their  friends  in  Spain,  with  the  object  of  checkmating 
Cristina's  plot  for  strengthening  the  "  moderates  "  by 
increasing  French  interest  in  the  country.  Peel, 
Aberdeen,  and  the  Duke  of  Wellington  gave  to  the 
French  their  words  of  honour  as  gentlemen  that  the 
English  Government  was  not  helping,  and  would  not 
help,  Prince  Leopold's  candidature  ;  but,  considering 
the  relationship  of  the  prince  with  the  English  royal 
family,  they  could  not  undertake  actively  to  oppose 

Louis  Philippe  and  Guizot  thereupon  worked  them- 
selves into  a  fever  of  apprehension  as  to  the  secret 
plans  which  they  thought  lay  behind  Bulwer's  zeal  for 
a  candidature  that  his  Government  disclaimed  ;  and 
determined,  rather  than  they  should  be  outwitted,  that 
they  themselves  would  violate  the  agreement,  and 
either  marry  Montpensier  to  the  Queen,  or  hasten 
both  marriages  and  effect  them  simultaneously.  Lord 
Aberdeen,  anxious  to  reassure  France,  reprimanded 
Bulwer  for  his  indiscreet  zeal,  but  before  Bulwer  could 
retire  the  Peel  Government  fell  (July,  1846),  and 
Bulwer  remained  at  Madrid  ;  for  Palmerston,  he  knew, 
would  back  him.  With  Palmerston  at  the  English 
Foreign  Office,  French  suspicions  became  more  acute 
than  ever,  and  the  Coburg  intrigues  from  Lisbon  con- 
tinued with  greater  activity. 

The  most  obvious  candidate  for  the  Queen's  hand 
would  have  been  the  eldest  son  of  Don  Carlos,  the 
latter  having  recently  abdicated  in  his  favour,  but  he 
could  only  be  successful  by  a  renunciation  of  prin- 
ciple which  he  could  not  make,  and  that  solution  was 
soon  abandoned.     Cristina   herself  had  been  at  first 


strongly  in  favour  of  her  own  brother,  Count  Trapani; 
but  Austria  was  violently  opposed  to  him,  and  both 
Spanish  parties  regarded  him  with  undisguised  aver- 
sion. The  only  other  probable  prospective  bride- 
grooms were  the  two  young  sons  of  the  Infante  Don 
Francisco  and  of  that  masterly  Dona  Carlota,  Cristina's 
sister,  who  had  boxed  Calomarde's  ears.  Cristina 
hated  her  sister  and  brother-in-law,  and  they  had 
lived  a  squalid,  shabby  existence  for  years,  neglected 
by  every  one.  Don  Francisco  himself  was  a  poor  little 
specimen  of  royalty,  both  physically  and  mentally, 
but  he  had  all  his  life  been  bidding  for  popularity,  and 
was  credited  with  some  sympathy  for  Liberalism. 
He  had  several  daughters  and  two  sons,  the  eldest  of 
whom,  Don  Francisco  de  Asis,  was  aged  twenty-four, 
and  Don  Enrique  a  year  younger. 

When  the  termagant  "mother  of  these  two  young 
men  died  in^  1^44  Cristina's  objection  to  them 
became  less  pronounced,  and  it  was  soon  understood 
that  by  a  process  of  elimination  they  had  remained 
the  only  serious  recognised  pretenders  for  the  posi- 
tion of  King-consort.  The  elder,  Don  Francisco 
de  Asis,  was  a  dapper,  fair,  effeminate,  young  man, 
with  a  high  piping  voice  ;  of  whom  much  coarse 
sport  was  made  at  Court,  even  by  the  Queen 
herself  He  was  called  by  the  feminine  name  of 
Paquita  (Fanny),  and  when  he  was  mentioned  to 
Isabel  as  a.  possible  husband,  she  said  that  she  had 
no  particular  objection  to  him  if  she  were  sure  he 
was  a  man.  His  manners,  however,  were  pleasant 
and  amiable,  and  there  was  certainly  nothing  in  his 
face    or    figure    to    indicate    an    absence   of    virility, 


although  he  was  obviously  weak  and  degenerate.  His 
brother  Enrique,  though  not  much  taller  than  he,  was 
greatly  superior  to  him  in  strength,  vigour,  and 
ability,  and  inherited  much  of  his  mother's  fiery 
impulsiveness.  It  will  be  recollected  that  he  had 
been  in  favour  of  the  rising  in  Galicia  against  the 
regime  of  Narvaez,  and  had  thereafter  fallen  into 
deep  disgrace  with  the  "  moderates  "  :  and  now  that  it 
had  become  a  question  as  to  which  of  the  two  brothers 
should  be  preferred,  it  was  not  surprising  that 
Espartero,  Olozaga,  and  the  Liberals,  backed  by  the 
British  Government, should  declare  for  Don  Enrique; 
whilst  Cristina,  the  "  moderates,"  and  the  French, 
should  warmly  support  Don  Francisco,  Duke  of 
Cadiz,  with  the  Duke  of  Montpensier  as  the  husband 
of  the  Infanta  Fernanda. 

It  had  been  privately  agreed  upon  by  the  brothers 
that  they  should  run  together  ;  and  that  either,  sepa- 
rately, should  reject  overtures  for  one  of  the  prin- 
cesses, unless  the  other  was  to  marry  her  sister.  It 
did  not  suit  Cristina,  the  French,  or  the  "  moderates  " 
to  have  Enrique  at  all,  and  as  the  latter  was  in  exile 
the  Queen-mother  exerted  such  influence  over  Fran- 
cisco that  he  abandoned  his  brother's  cause,  and  con- 
sented to  marry  the  Queen,  whilst  Montpensier  should 
marry  the  Infanta. 

The  Liberals  throughout  Spain  were  desperate — 
for  the  palace  clique  had  even  sent  Narvaez  into  dis- 
grace because  he  was  not  sufficiently  absolutist — they 
feared  that  with  a  French  prince  so  near  the  throne, 
and  a  French  army  at  Cristina's  bidding,  there  would 
be  a  return  to  the  unbridled  despotism  of  Fernando. 

'*  THE   SPAy/SH  MARRIAGES.  393 

They,  the  Liberals,  petitioned  the  Queen  not  to  allow 
her  sister  to  marry  a  Frenchman  ;  memories  of  the 
Peninsular  War,  of  Augouleme's  invasion,  of  French 
perfidy  in  the  past,  were  appealed  to,  but  without 
avail.  Bulwer  was  vain,  self-opinionated,  and  stiff, 
and  known  to  belong  to  the  progressist  faction,  so 
that  his  protests  against  the  arrangement  were  not 
likely  to  weigh  heavily  as  compared  with  the  close 
intimacy  existing  between  the  palace  and  Bresson, 
the  French  minister,  who  was  almost  an  mnbassadeur 
de  faviille.  Whilst  Bresson  was  in  and  out  of  the 
palace  all  day  Bulwer  was  nearly  constantly  at  one 
of  his  country  houses  ;  and  the  formal  demands  for 
the  two  royal  sisters'  hands  were  made  without  even 
his  knowledge  whilst  he  had  been  enticed  away  from 

It  is  stated  by  Liberal  authorities  that  throughout 
the  night  of  the  27th  of  August,  1846,  Cristina  and 
her  friends  forcibly  urged  upon  Isabel  the  need  for 
the  latter  to  accept  her  cousin  Francisco  for  her  hus- 
band ;  to  which  she  had,  when  it  came  to  the  point, 
the  greatest  reluctance  ;  and  her  consent  was  at  last 
only  gained  by  threats  and  violence  on  the  part  of 
her  mother.  Bresson  was  in  waiting  in  an  adjoining- 
room,  and  the  moment  the  promise  was  wrung  from 
the  girl  Queen  at  two  in  the  morning,  he  appeared 
and  formally  asked  for  the  hand  of  her  sister  for 

As  soon  as  Madrid  woke  up  to  the  fact  that 
the  marriages  were  settled,  once  more  the  almost 
forgotten  cry  of  "  Down  with  the  Gabachos ! "  rang 
out  amongst  the  poorer  folk,  who  had   not   forgotten 


the  "  2nd  of  May."  But  bayonets  were  everywhere, 
and  even  the  Cortes  was  overawed  by  soldiers  when 
it  was  called  upon  to  vote  :  one  deputy  only,  Orense, 
daring  to  vote  against  the  Montpensier  marriage. 
It  will  be  recollected  that  Louise  Philippe  was  person- 
ally pledged  to  Queen  Victoria  not  to  marry  his  son 
to  the  Infanta  until  Isabel  was  married  and  had 
children ;  but  the  Liberals,  both  in  Spain  and  in 
England,  proclaimed  loudly  that,  with  Don  Francisco 
for  a  husband,  it  was  never  intended  that  the  Queen 
should  have  any  children  ;  and  that  this  was  only  a 
plot  to  place  a  French  prince  upon  the  throne  of 
Spain  at  some  future  time. 

Cristina  urged  upon  the  French  Government  that 
not  a  day  should  be  lost :  both  marriages  must  take 
place  at  once,  and  as  secretly  as  might  be  ;  for 
England  and  a  Liberal  revolution  in  Spain  threatened 
the  existing  order  of  affairs,  almost  from  hour  to  hour, 
and  she  might  find  all  her  plans  upset.  Guizot  and 
his  master  were  ready  to  fall  in  with  her  demands, 
for  they  saw  that  it  was  a  victory  for  French  diplo- 
macy over  England,  and  excused  their  violation  of 
their  solemn  pledges  by  Bulwer's  activity  in  favour 
of  the  Coburg,  which,  they  said,  absolved  them.  In 
vain  Bulwer  threatened  and  sulked  when  it  was  too 
late  ;  his  own  indiscretion  had  been  largely  respon- 
sible for  his  failure.  The  English  Government  pro- 
tested both  to  the  French  and  Spaniards,  and  war 
seemed  inevitable.  All  the  Spanish  disaffection  found 
a  trysting-place  in  London,  from  Espartero  to  Cabrera 
and  from  Don  Enrique  to  the  young  Don  Carlos  ;  but 
Cristina  and  the  "  moderates  "  were  triumphant,  and 

"  AFTER    THE   MARRIAGES."  395 

on  the  loth  of  October,  1846,  the  double  marriages 
were  celebrated  in  Madrid. 

The  official  rejoicings  were  great,  but  many  a 
muttered  ''Down  with  the  GabacJios  !  "  was  heard  ;  and 
though  Cristina  and  the  "  moderates "  were  radiant, 
all  friends  of  liberty  and  impartial  Spaniards  gene- 
rally looked  on  with  dismay,  for  they  knew  not  what 
would  be  the  end  of  a  plot  which  made  England  an 
enemy  to  their  country,  married  the  impulsive,  robust 
young  Queen  to  a  degenerate  fribble,  and  her  next 
heiress  to  a  Frenchman.  Whispers  ran  from  one  to 
another — whispers  that  in  after  years  turned  into  loud 
denunciations  and  grave  accusations — -that  if  by  mis- 
chance the  Queen  had  a  male  child  it  would  never 
live,  and  that  the  Queen's  own  life  might  be  sacrificed. 
How  much  of  it  was  true  will  perhaps  be  known  to 
our  grandchildren,  but  subsequent  events,  as  will  be 
related,  gave  colour  to  the  suspicions. 

The  events  which  followed  the  marriage  present 
a  picture  of  utter  disorganisation  and  confusion. 
Ministers  were  dismissed  and  appointed  by  palace 
influence,  rather  than  for  political  considerations,  and 
the  intriguing  ambition  of  Cristina  for  her  Muhoz 
children  would  have  been  laughable  had  it  not  con- 
stituted a  national  danger.  Without  apparent  reason 
Narvaez  had  been  disgraced,  although  he  had  passed 
(1845)  a  new  Constitution  entirely  in  favour  of  the 
Crown,  and  Isturiz,  a  firm  servant  of  Cristina,  was 
appointed  to  succeed  him.  Isturiz  justified  his 
ministerial  existence  by  entering  into  plans  for  the 
employment  of  Spanish  forces  to  establish  one  of 
Cristina's  morganatic  sons  on  the  throne  of  a  South 


American  State,  but  the  outcry  of  the  press 
and  the  protests  of  the  EngHsh  Government  pre- 
vented the  attempts  from,  succeeding,  and  Isturiz 
fell  shortly  afterwards  at  the  end  of  1846,  being  re- 
placed by  the  Duke  of  Sotomayor,  a  moderate 

We  have  seen  that  the  Queen's  marriage  was  not 
one  of  mutual  affection — to  put  the  case  very  mildly — ■ 
and  the  domestic  results  were  soon  apparent.  Madrid 
was  always  a  centre  of  scandal,  and  the  Queen's 
lightness  of  demeanour  had  before  her  marriage 
given  rise  to  much  ill-natured  gossip  about  the 
comings  and  goings  of  the  handsome  young  politician, 
General  Serrano,  who  had  been  a  minister  in 
Olozaga's  and  other  cabinets.  But  the  talk  grew 
more  scandalous  still  after  the  marriage ;  and  before 
many  weeks  had  passed  Cristina,  finding  she  had  now 
no  influence  over  her  daughter,  washed  her  hands  of 
the  whole  business  and  went  to  reside  in  Paris,  where 
also  Narvaez  was  at  the  time ;  whilst  the  King- 
consort,  full  of  his  own  grievances,  separated  from  his 
new  wife,  and  sulked  apart  at  the  suburban  palace  of 
the  Pardo. 

Thenceforward  Isabel  II.  went  her  own  way — 
and  that  way  was  a  bad  one — whilst  backstairs 
intrigue  and  feminine  caprice  reigned  supreme  in 
Madrid.  A  new  Carlist  war  led  by  Cabrera,  in  favour 
of  the  young  Don  Carlos,  broke  out  in  Cataluila  and 
the  north,  and  attempted  risings  took  place  in  different 
parts  of  the  country,  promoted  by  Don  Enrique  and 
the  republicans.  The  ministry,  in  the  meanwhile, 
could  think  of  nothing  better  than  separating  Serrano 

ISABEL   II.,  QUKJiN   OF   aPAlX,   AT   THE   AiiK   OF    l6. 


from  the  Queen  by  sending  him  to  command  a  division 
of  the  army  in  Navarre.  The  general  refused  point- 
blank  to  obey  :  the  Government  insisted,  and  the  Par- 
liament strongly  supported  the  Government,  although 
the  most  liberal  section  of  the  "moderate"  party,  which 
advocated  a  return  to  the  pure  Constitution  of  1837, 
opposed  it.  Suddenly,  without  notice,  the  young 
Queen  herself  dictated  the  dismissal  of  the  ministry, 
and  appointed  Pacheco,  the  leader  of  the  Puritans — 
or  advocates  of  the  Constitution  of  1837 — Prime 
Minister,  with  the  notorious  speculative  financier 
Salamanca  at  the  treasury. 

The  new  ministry  honestly  tried  to  conciliate  the 
progressives  and  men  of  all  parties.  Olozaga  and 
Mendizabal  were  pardoned  and  recalled  ;  and  even 
poor  old  Godoy  received  an  amnesty  ;  and  once  more 
the  Liberals  became  hopeful.  The  scandalous  separa- 
tion of  the  Queen  and  her  husband  divided  the  Court 
into  two  parties.  For  some  reason  the  "  moderates  " 
leant  to  the  side  of  the  King-consort,  and  looked 
grave  at  the  Queen's  proceedings  ;  whilst  the  progres- 
sists grew  violently  loyal  and  resented  all  suggestions 
to  the  detriment  of  the  sovereign.  The  ministers,  with 
imprudent  persistence,  endeavoured  to  make  peace 
between  the  Queen  and  King,  to  the  annoyance  of 
the  former,  who  more  than  once  entered  into  intrigues 
for  appointing  a  regular  Liberal  ministry.  The  King, 
on  the  other  hand,  was  impracticable  and  exacting  ; 
and  the  "  moderates  "  saw  that,  unless  they  were  to 
avoid  a  catastrophe,  they  must  again  bring  into  the 
struggle  Cristina  and  Narvaez,  who  were  both  in 
Paris,  though  still  bad  friends. 


Narvaez  was  willing  to  govern  Spain  again,  but 
only  on  one  condition  ;  namely,  that  he  should  have 
a  free  hand  "  to  use  the  stick  and  to  hit  hard!'  The 
young  Queen,  with  Serrano  always  at  her  side,  was 
surrounded  by  men  of  Liberal  leaning,  who,  prompted 
by  Bulwer,  thought  to  make  use  of  the  favourite 
general  for  their  ends,  whilst  the  King-consort  was 
not  only  excluded  from  his  wife's  presence,  but  pre- 
vented even  from  entering  the  palace  in  her  absence. 
Pacheco's  Government,  although  broad  in  its  ten- 
dency, was  still  Conservative,  and  becoming  disgusted 
at  this  state  of  things,  retired. 

Almost  simultaneously  Narvaez  suddenly  appeared 
in  Madrid,  talked  very  seriously  with  the  Queen ; 
and,  to  the  dismay  of  the  Liberals,  was  entrusted  with 
the  formation  of  a  Government.  He  refused  to  re- 
appoint clever  Salamanca  finance  minister,  whilst  the 
Queen  insisted  upon  the  appointment,  and  Narvaez 
threw  up  the  task  in  disgust ;  Salamanca  himself 
becoming  Prime  Minister.  He  was  full  of  fine 
speculative  plans  and  vague  Liberal  ideas,  which 
would  add  to  his  own  overflowing  coffers,  but  which 
offended  the  Protectionist  Catalans :  a  full  amnesty 
was  granted  to  all  Liberals  (September  2,  1848),  but 
in  the  midst  of  his  erratic  political  career,  which  quite 
undeceived  the  "  moderates,"  Salamanca  found  his 
ministry  suddenly  cut  short  by  Narvaez,  who  himself 
entered  the  Council  Chamber  and  dismissed  the 
Government  in  the  name  of  the  Queen.  That 
Serrano  was  at  the  bottom  of  this  violent  measure 
there  is  no  doubt,  but  his  motive  is  obscure,  unless  he 
was  tired  of  playing  the  game  of  the  Liberals  and  the 


English,  and  thought  once  more  to  gain  the  support 
of  his  own  "  moderate  "  party.^ 

Narvaez,  who  only  a  few  days  before  had  talked 
about  shooting  Serrano,  now  suddenly  changed  his 
tone  and  made  use  of  him.  Then  came  a  quick 
transformation.  By  the  intervention  of  the  Pope  and 
the  stern  insistence  of  Narvaez,  the  Queen  and  her 
husband  patched  up  their  differences  ;  Cristina  came 
back  again,  Serrano  went  contentedly  to  govern 
Granada,  and  the  Liberals,  finding  themselves 
betrayed,  could  use  no  words  strong  enough  now  to 
blame  the  "  goings  on "  of  the  Queen  and  her 

Through  1847  the  new  Carlist  war  organised  in 
England  had  continued  in  Catalufia  ;  Cabrera  at  one 
time  having  an  army  of  6,000  men  under  him.  One 
after  the  other,  however,  the  guerrilla  chiefs  were 
caught  and  shot ;  the  new  Pretender,  Don  Carlos 
(Count  de  Montemolin),  was  prevented  from  entering 
Spain,  and,  on  the  coming  of  Narvaez  to  power,  the 
last  embers  of  the  rising  were  quenched  in  blood.  The 
times,  indeed,  were  such  as  could  only  be  met  with 
severity.  In  France,  in  Italy,  in  Hungary,  in  Prussia 
revolutions  were  dominant  and  thrones  were  falling. 
The  Pontiff,  a  fugitive  from  the  Eternal  City,  looked 
to  faithful  Spain  only  for  support,  the  Bourbon  throne 
of  Naples  trembled  under  the  blows  of  Garibaldi ;  and 
the  intriguer  Louis  Philippe,  upon  whom  the  Spanish 
"moderates"  had  depended,  was  himself  masquerading 
as  "  Mr.  Smith  "  in  hospitable  England. 

'  It   may   be  mentioned  also  that  a  new   "favourite"  had  recently 
appeared  on  the  scene,  and  this  may  have  influenced  Serrano. 


Fired  by  such  events  as  these,  Liberal  and  repub- 
h'can  revolts  took  place  in  Spain.  Barricades  sprang 
up  in  Madrid,  and  once  more  blood  ran  in  the  streets. 
But  Narvaez,  with  his  ruthless  policy  of  the  stick  and 
hit  hard,  conquered  them  all,  'and  remained  supreme.^ 
Palace  and  political  intrigues  threatened  him  more 
than  once,  and  for  a  few  hours  2  (October,  1 849),  he 
was  out  of  office ;  but  with  his  henchmen,  Brabo 
Murillo,  as  finance  minister,  and  Sartorius  Count  de 
San  Luis,  at  the  Home  Office,  he  held  the  reins 
firmly,  and  not  unwisely,  through  all  the  troublous 
times  from  1848  to  1850,  during  which  he  had  to 
conquer  two  expeditions  of  American  and  Cuban 
filibusters  against  Cuba,  and  an  infinite  number  of 
attempts  at  revolt  in  Spain  itself 

In  July,  1850,  the  eagerly-expected  event  of  the 
birth  of  a  child  to  the  Queen  took  place.  For 
months  past  anticipation  and  gossip  had  been  rife  ; 
for  much  depended  upon  the  issue.  If  a  son  was 
born,  then  adieu  to  the  hopes  of  Montpensier  and  his 
wife,  whose  importance  as  political  factors  had  already 
disappeared  with  the  fall  of  Louis  Philippe.  But  much 
more  depended  upon  it  than  this  ;  Cristina,  at  least, 

'  Bulwer  in  indiscreet  terms  remonstrated  against  his  severity  and 
was  expelled  from  Madrid,  diplomatic  relations  between  England  and 
Spain  being  broken  off  for  some  time. 

-  This  was  an  extraordinary  intrigue  got  up  by  the  King-consort  and 
a  fraudulent  siigmata  nun  called  the  Sister  Patro'cinio,  who  obtained 
the  appointment  of  an  extreme  absolutist  ministry,  but  Narvaez  upset 
the  plan,  and  returned  to  power  the  same  day.  Sister  Patrocinio  and 
Father  Fulgencio  were  sent  into  confinement,  and  the  silly,  reactionary 
King-consort  was  severely  reprimanded,  and  frightened  out  of  his  poor 
wits  by  Narvaez,  who  deprived  him  of  his  newly-granted  task  of 
managing  the  interior  affairs  of  the  palace. 



looking  upon  her  personal  honour  as  being  involved, 
for  scandal  was  busy  about  her  daughter's  proceedings. 
Again,  for  some  reason — probably  enmity  to  Cristina 
and  the  King-consort — the  Liberals  were  enthusiastic 
in  their  loyal  attachment  to  the  Queen,  and  full  of 
resentment  against  those  who  attacked  her  ;  and  they 
looked  forward  to  the  birth  of  a  direct  male  heir  to 
the  crown  as  an  event  charged  with  bright  hope  for 
the  future.     At  length  the  important  day  came,  and 
all   Madrid — and  Spain    beyond — was    breathless    to 
learn  whether  a  Prince  of  Asturias  would  be  born. 
Again  a  Queen  of  Spain's  antechamber  was  crammed 
with  a  mixed  and  curious  crowd,  in  which  the  King- 
consort  cut  but  a  sorry  figure.     Again  as   the  guns 
boomed    out    the    news    to    the    waiting    people,  the 
silver  salver,  with  its  new-born  human  burden,  was 
handed  to   the  Queen's  husband,  and   this  time  the 
hopes  of  the  Liberals  were  fulfilled,  for  the  announce- 
ment was  that  a  "  robust  prince  "  had  been  born.    But 
the  extreme  "  moderates  "  shook  grave  heads  and  whis- 
pered darkly  ;  though  Cristina  appeared  overjoyed  at 
the  birth  of  her  first  grandchild.     So  much  overjoyed, 
indeed,  that  she  and  the  great  absolutist  ladies  who 
flocked    into    the    chamber    could    not,    it   was    said, 
restrain    the    ardour    with    which    they  caressed    the 
tender  infant.    A  babe  two  days  old  does  not  approve 
of  much  embracing,  and  the  Prince  of  Asturias  pro- 
tested against  undue  affection,  or  against  being  born 
at  all  to  such  a  troubled  world,  by  the  only  means  in 
his  power — namely,  by  dying  on  the  third  day  after 
his  birth.     The  bereaved  mother  was  beside  herself 
with  grief  and  disappointment,  for  hers  was  a  heart 

Isabel's  firstborn.  403 

avid  for  affection  ;  but  it  was  the  turn  of  the  Liberals 
now  to  shake  their  heads  and  look  grave,  for  what 
they  had  fearfully  anticipated  had  come  to  pass. 
The  suspicions  they  expressed  cannot  be  believed 
for  a  moment,  but  they  show  how  bitter  and  unscru- 
pulous political  feeling  was  at  the  time,  and  furnish  a 
key  to  much  that  happened  afterwards. 



The  confused  and  complicated  political  manoeuvres 
which  have  been  briefly  related  in  the  preceding 
chapter  are  an  evident  proof  that  Spaniards  were 
not,  even  yet,  sufficiently  advanced  to  conduct 
legitimately  a  constitutional  representative  govern- 
ment. The  Cortes,  instead  of  being  the  source  from 
which  ministers  drew  strength  and  inspiration;  had 
sunk  into  a  mere  instrument  for  registering  and 
adulating  their  action.  Ministers,  as  we  have  seen, 
were  often  changed  for  personal  reasons,  and  by 
backstairs  intrigue  ;  and  when  it  was  necessary  for  a 
new  Cortes  to  be  elected  the  party  in  power  took 
care,  by  the  most  open  and  unblushing  corruption, 
to  ensure  an  overwhelming  majority  for  their  own 
particular  section.  A  parliamentary,  constitutional, 
change  of  government  was,  therefore,  impossible  ;  the 
only  change  there  could  be,  except  by  a  revolution 
or  a  palace  coup  de  main,  was  from  one  section  or  set 
of  men  to  another  of  the  same  party. 

The  Queen  herself  appears  to  have  had  no  inkling 

of  the  science  of  statesmanship,  or  of  the  importance 
























of  political  action.     She  was  overflowing  with  human 
sympathy — and  it  may  be  added  with  human  weak- 
ness— ready  to  be  influenced,  one  way  or  another,  by 
personal  considerations,  and  by  an   impulsive  desire 
to  remedy  real  or  imaginary  evils  that  were  pointed 
out  to  her.     Always  open  to  appeals  to  her  pity  or 
her  chanty,  surprisingly  frank  and  confiding,  it  is  not 
surprising  that  she  became  the  dupe  of  a  succession  of 
specious  intriguers  of  all  parties,  and  of  all  ranks.     In 
the  intervals  of  her  beguilement  she  believed  all  men 
alike  to  be  self-seeking  rogues,  and  followed  her  own 
bent.     She  must  have  felt  that  in  her  marriage  she 
had  been  deliberately  sacrificed,  and  her  own  happi- 
ness cynically  disregarded,  and  if  she  revolted  against 
maternal  affection  which  sold  her  like  a  chattel,  and 
rebelled  against  an  unfit  and  galling  connection  which 
was   forced   upon  her  in  the  interests  of  others,  the 
blame  should  not  be  laid  entirely  upon  her  shoulders. 
So,  at  least,  the  nation  thought,  for  few  sovereigns 
have  been  so  popular  as  Isabel  II.  in  the  early  years 
of  her    majority.      She    moved    about   amongst   her 
people  frankly  and  openly,  often  without  escort,  with 
a  pleasant  smile  and  a  ready  sympathy  for  every  tale 
of  sorrow,    giving    freely,    often    far    more    than    she 
could  afford  ;    hearty,  generous   and  debonnaire,  she 
won  all  Spanish  hearts  but  those  that  were  miracu- 
lously good  or  hopelessly  bad  ;  and  her  people,  like 
the  Recording  Angel  whose  tear  blotted  out  Uncle 
Toby's  oath,  lovingly  covered  her  many  failings  with 
a  tear  of  regret  for  the  wrong  that  she  had  suffered, 
and  contended  passionately  that  she  was  "  ATuy  reina 
y  viuy  espanola  " — a  thorough  Queen  and  a  thorough 


Spaniard.  All  this  was  very  characteristic  and  truly 
Spanish,  but  it  showed  how  premature  were  those 
who  thought  that  a  paper  constitution  would  suddenly 
raise  the  country  from  despotism  to  liberty. 

As  usual,  the  new  Cortes  elected  in  the  autumn  of 
1850  gave  the  ministry  in  power  a  great  majority, 
and  Narvaez  appeared  safe  ;  but  he  had  in  his 
ministry  a  masterful  lawyer,  Brabo  Murillo,  who 
was  determined,  if  possible,  to  re-assert  civilian  pre- 
dominance in  the  Government.  On  entering  the 
finance  ministry  in  1S49,  he  had  attempted  to  cut 
down  military  expenditure  by  i^6oo,ooo,  but  the  dis- 
turbed state  of  the  country  had  made  it  impossible  ; 
but  early  in  1851  he  insisted  upon  a  still  greater 
reduction,  and  this  time  was  supported  by  Cristina, 
who  resented  the  militar)'  power  of  Narvaez.  The 
latter  therefore  retired  with  most  of  his  colleagues, 
and  went  abroad,  Brabo  Murillo  remaining  Prime 
Minister.  The  ideas  of  the  latter  were  extensive, 
including  a  complete  financial  re-organisation,  the 
arrangement  of  the  National  Debt,  large  subventions 
tc  public  works,  and  concessions  for  projected  rail- 
ways ;  but  all  this  ran  counter  to  many  interests,  and 
was  accompanied,  moreover,  by  a  demand  for  authority 
from  the  Cortes  to  collect  the  revenue  for  the  follow- 
ing year  (185 1)  without  discussion.  The  Cortes  had 
been  elected  to  support  Narvaez,  and  protested.  Brabo 
Murillo  then  promptly  dissolved  them,  after  a  scene 
of  wild  disorder  (April,  185 1);  and  thenceforward 
the  work  of  reaction  proceeded  without  hindrance. 
The  monastic  orders  were  again  permitted  in  Spain, 
such    Church    property  as    had    not    been    sold    was 


returned  to  the  clergy  to  be  realised,  and  the  pro- 
duct invested  in  Three  Per  Cent.  Stock,  the  clerical 
salaries  were  settled,  the  Church  allowed  to  acquire 
new  possessions,  and  the  Catholic  religion  alone  was 
permitted  ;  whilst  the  Pontiff  once  more  regained  his 
patronage  in  the  Spanish  Church. 

The  new  Parliament  meeting  late  in  T851  was,  by 
the  usual  means,  almost  limited  to  supporters  of  the 
Government,  though  Olozaga  and  the  fiery  Catalan 
general.  Prim,  Count  de  Reus,  strong  progressists 
both,  were  ceaseless,  though  fruitless,  in  their  attacks. 
But  the  Cortes,  as  a  whole,  were  obedient  servants 
of  the  ministry,  and  Brabo  Murillo's  measures  were 
humbly  endorsed.  The  conversion  and  consolidation 
of  the  National  Debt  was  carried  out,  and  important 
alterations  made  in  the  fiscal  system,^  railway  conces- 
sions and  subventions,  now  for  the  first  time  in  Spain 
being  made  an  element  of  Government  finance,  and 
it  may  be  added,  of  Court  jobbery. 

In  December,  185 1,  a  girl  child  was  born  to  the 
Queen.  This  time  she  was  determined  there  should 
be  no  accident  ;  and  night  and  day  the  mother  hardly 
ever  lost  sight  of  her  child — who  grew  up  to  be  the 
virtuous  and  estimable  Infanta  Isabel.     On  the  2nd  of 

'  Brabo  Murillo's  estimate  of  revenue  for  1852  was  eleven  millions 
sterling,  and  his  budget  balanced.  The  effect  of  his  new  financial 
system  was  seen  in  the  following  year,  when  his  estimated  receipts 
were  twelve  millions  and  a  quarter  sterling.  The  Spanish  Three  Per 
Cent.  Consols,  which  had  been  quoted  as  low  as  19  in  1848,  rose  under 
Brabo  Muril'.o  to  35  in  1850,  38  in  1851,  and  to  46-47  in  1852,  when 
the  minister  retired.  From  that  point  they  declined  to  44  in  1853,  to 
33  just  prior  to  the  revolution  of  1S54,  and  to  31  at  the  end  of  tliat 


February,  1852,  the  Queen  and  a  brilliant  Court  were 
to  proceed,  as  usual  in  such  cases,  to  present  the 
newly-born  princess  to  the  Virgin  of  Atocha.  All 
Madrid  was  alive  to  see  the  show,  for  now  that  there 
was  an  heiress  to  the  crown  the  accession  of  the 
unpopular  Montpensier  seemed  improbable,  and 
Spain  vvas  overflowing  with  rejoicing  and  loyalty 
to  the  Queen.  As  the  latter  was  leaving  the  royal 
chapel  and  about  to  enter  her  carriage  at  the  foot  of 
the  palace  staircase,  an  elderly  priest  approached  her, 
and  kneeling,  handed  her  a  petition.  She  stooped  to 
take  it,  and  the  wretch  stabbed  her  with  a  dagger  in 
the  breast.  Fortunately  some  of  the  splendid  bullion 
embroidery  which  covered  her  corsage  broke  the  force 
of  the  blow,  and  the  wound,  though  serious,  was  not 
dangerous.  Before  the  Queen  fainted  from  the  shock 
she  turned  instinctively  to  where  her  baby  was,  and 
cried,  "  My  child,  care  for  my  child  "  !  as  if  she  knew; 
where  danger  might  be  apprehended.  With  character- 
istic generosity,  she  strove  hard  to  save  the  life  of  the 
murderer,  Martin  Merino,  whose  motive  was  never 
fathomed,  but  he  was  publicly  garotted  a  few  days 
afterwards,  his  body  burnt  and  his  ashes  cast  to  the 

In  this,  and  in  the  punishment  of  various  attempts 
at  military  revolt  in  the  interests  of  Narvaez,  the 
ministry  of  Brabo  Murillo  showed  itself  as  fierce 
as  the  rude  soldiers  whose  rule  it  supplanted  ;  and, 
to  her  honour  be  it  said,  Isabel  II.  alone  sought  to 
temper  its  severity  with  mercy.  The  attempts  on  the 
Queen's  life,  and  the  loyal  outburst  to  which  it  gave 
rise,  together   with    the    Napoleonic    coup    d'etat   in 


France,  afforded  to  Brabo  Murillo's  ministry  an 
excuse  for  rendering  the  power  of  the  Crown  and 
executive  still  more  absolute.  The  Cortes  were  sus- 
pended, the  press  was  gagged,  military  disaffection  was 
ruthlessly  crushed,  the  progressives  were  powerless, 
and  Brabo  Murillo  thought  he  was  now  stronsf  enough 
to  cut  down  the  representative  system  to  a  vanishing 
point  and  practically  destroy  the  Constitution.    '' ' 

The  announcement  of  his  intention  caused  a  new 
grouping  of  parties.  The  "  moderates  "  in  the  country 
still  looked  upon  Narvaez  as  their  leader ;  a  majority 
of  them  were  Constitutionists  of  a  sort,  and  when 
Brabo  Murillo  summoned  Parliament  at  the  end  of 
the  year  (1852)  he  found  both  chambers  inclined  to 
be  restive.  His  immediate  answer  was  the  usual  decree 
of  dissolution.  Men  of  all  parties,  except  extreme 
absolutists,  united  in  condemning  this  abuse  of 
power.  With  shamelessly  packed  Parliaments,  and 
dissolution  at  the  first  hint  of  criticism  of  the  acts 
of  the  ministry,  constitutional  government  was  a 
fraudulent  farce.  Narvaez  protested  as  loudly  as 
Mendizabal  ;  but  meetings  were  sternly  suppressed, 
newspaper  comments  prohibited,  and  even  university 
lectures  subject  to  rigid  censorship  :  and  Brabo 
Murillo's  interim  decree  for  a  new  Constitution  was 
published,  all  open  discussion  of  it  being  forbidden. 
By  it  practically  all  individual  rights  were  taken 
away  from  the  citizen  ;  and  the  executive,  and  not 
the  law,  was  supreme  over  life  and  property  ;  whilst 
the  Parliament  was  rendered  powerless,  the  number 
of  members  being  reduced  from  349  to  161,  the 
qualifications    raised,  and  the    Senate  made   mainly 


hereditary.  This  was  too  much  ;  and  though 
Narvaez  was  in  exile,  Brabo  Murillo,  seeing  that 
the  soldiers  would  overcome  him,  hurriedly  resigned  ; 
and  in  the  first  days  of  the  }'ear  1853,  once  more  a 
general,  Federico  Roncali,  Count  de  Alcoy,  became 
head  of  the  government. 

Apparently,  however,  yielding  to  Court  pressure, 
the  new  ministry  confirmed  Narvaez's  exile  and 
refused  to  abrogate  Brabo  Murillo's  tyrannical 
decree,  on  the  absurd  ground  that,  as  the  Queen 
had  so  recently  sanctioned  it,  its  abrogation  would 
bring  the  royal  prerogative  into  discredit.  When 
the  elections  took  place,  therefore,  all  the  "  moderates," 
except  the  extreme  wing,  coalesced  with  the  Liberals; 
but  the  coercion  and  corruption  exercised  by  the 
Government  over  the  electors,  as  usual,  gave  the 
ministry  a  vast  majority.  The  decree  had  to  be 
confirmed  by  the  new  Cortes,  and  a  mere  pretence 
was  made  of  altering  some  of  its  more  objectionable 
features,  but  the  opposition,  though  small,  was  per- 
sistent. Generals  Prim  and  O'Donnell  threatened 
military  revolts,  General  Concha  openly  accused  the 
Government  of  trafficking  corruptly  in  railway  con- 
cessions, in  union  with  Salamanca  and  Cristina's 
husband.  Some  accusations  in  this  matter  went 
higher  still,  and  curious  stories  were  afloat  of  how 
the  concession-mongering  business  was  carried  on 
inside  the  palace  itself  ;  of  the  backstairs  influence 
of  shameful  "  favourites,"  and  of  sudden  riches  falling 
to  menials  who  shared  their  plunder  with  their  betters. 
In  a  rage  at  such  talk  the  Government  suspended  the 
Cortes,  and   attempted  to  punish  those  members  who 


opposed  them.  But  they,  too,  had  to  disappear  before 
the  storm  they  could  not  allay  (April,  1853),  and  were 
succeeded  by  a  conciliatory  ministry  led  by  General 

Brabo  Murillo's  financial  plans  were  then  mostly 
reversed,  and  the  press  censorship  was  lightened  ;  but 
still  some  influence  behind  tied  the  hands  of  the 
ministry,  and  prevented,  or  hampered,  effective  action 
on  the  main  points  of  the  constitutional  decree  and, 
the  railway  concessions.  The  Government  soon  fell 
out,  and  some  of  its  members  were  changed  more 
than  once,  but  at  last  it  signed  its  own  death 
warrant,  by  confirming,  by  decree,  all  the  railway 
concessions  which  had  been  granted  without  reference 
to  Parliament,  and  about  which  such  scandalous 
stories  were  told.  It  was  clear  that  the  ministry 
could  not  hold  on  long  in  the  face  of  its  general 
unpopularity  ;  but  it  possessed  the  confidence  of  the 
sovereign  until  the  Minister  of  Marine  resigned 
rather  than  carry  out  a  certain  onerous  concession 
for  conveying  coal  to  the  Philippines.  Then  Isabel's 
smiles  turned  to  pouts,  and  Lersundi's  Government 
fell  (September,  1853),  being  succeeded  by  an 
extraordinary  agglomeration  of  men  of  all  parties, 
but  with  no  programme  or  the  possibility  of  agreeing 
upon  one,  the  Prime  Minister  being  Sartorius,  Count 
de  San  Luis,-  Narvaez's  former  henchman,  who  had 
begun  life  as  a  bookseller's  shopman  and  still  retained 
the  manners  of  his  old  calling. 

Afiairs,  indeed,  had  drifted  into  a  state  from  which 
the  only  possible  exit  was  by  revolution.  Ministers 
no  longer  represented  public  opinion,  which  had  no 


legitimate  expression  ;  and  Parliament  itself  could 
only  exert  its  influence  by  the  promotion  of  disturb- 
ance outside.  The  frequent  changes  in  the  financial 
system  had  thrown  everything  into  confusion,  the 
country  at  large  was  growing  more  and  more  restive 
at  the  loudly  proclaimed  scandals  in  high  quarters. 
One  nonentity  after  another  had  tried  his  'prentice 
hand  at  governing  the  State,  and  Espartero  and 
Narvaez.  the  only  men  who  had  a  large  following, 
were  both  in  exile.  Cristina  and  her  husband  were 
turning  political  influence  to  their  concession- 
mongering  ends  and  piling  up  riches.  The  futile 
King-consort,  surrounded  by  a  peddling  little 
camarilla  of  priests,  nuns,  and  compliant  friends, 
was  for  ever  planning  absolutist  treachery  ;  whilst 
the  Queen,  swayed  by  all  sorts  of  people,  good, 
bad,  and  disgraceful,  could  never  be  depended  upon 
to  keep  in  the  same  mind  for  a  week  together. 

San  Luis  fruitlessly  endeavoured  to  conciliate  the 
various  sections  of  the  "  moderate  "  party.  Narvaez 
was  allowed  to  return  from  exile  and  the  decrees 
granting  railway  concessions  were  cancelled,  although 
the  Cortes  were  asked  to  re-sanction  the  same  con- 
cessions by  parliamentary  vote.  But  the  trail  of 
jobbery  was  over  all,  and  the  grossest  accusations  of 
corruption  were  made  openly  against  the  highest 
functionaries  and  ministers,  not  only  in  the  matter 
of  the  railway  contracts  but  also  in  the  proposed 
conversion  of  the  immense  floating  debt  which  had 
accumulated  for  the  last  five  years.^ 

'  The  unconverted  floating  debt  reached  six  millions  sterling,  and  it 
was  now  proposed  to  add  it  to  the  Consols.     The  estimates  of  revenue 


At  length,  early  in  December,  1853,  the  ministry 
was  defeated  in  the  Cortes,  and  San  Luis  hastily 
suspended  the  sittings  before  the  estimates  had  been 
voted  ;  the  unconstitutional  course  being  adopted  of 
promulgating  supply  by  royal  decree.  This  first  step 
having  been  taken,  San  Luis  made  no  attempt  to 
govern  legally.  All  the  prominent  opponents  of 
the  Government  were  banished  or  employed  on 
distant  stations.  The  brothers.  Generals  Concha 
and  Generals  O'Donnell,  Serrano,  Zabala,  Infante, 
and  many  others,  went  into  exile  or  hiding  ;  the 
press  was  finally  and  effectually  gagged,  and  a 
fresh  parliamentary  constitution  was  proposed, 
which  would  have  had  the  result  of  merely 
cloaking  the  omnipotence  of  the  executive  with 
the  pretence  of  democratic  institutions. 

As  may  be  imagined,  these  measures  only  increased 
the  intense  unpopularity  of  San  Luis,  and  the  dis- 
content, driven  beneath  the  surface,  became  more 
active  than  ever.  A  terrible  famine  raged  in  Galicia, 
and  the  utmost  poverty  was  observable  all  over  the 
country,  the  amount  of  taxes  recovered  falling 
greatly  short  of  the  estimates,  and  a  forced  loan 
being  levied  to  cover  urgent  needs.^     To  add  to  the 

for  this  year,  1854,  reached  ;!^i4,8oo,ooo,  and  was,  as  usual,  supposed 
to  be  sufficient  to  cover  the  expenditure.  These  estimates  show  an 
increase  of  more  than  two  miUions  sterling  over  those  of  the  previous 
year,  1853. 

'  The  scurrilous  anonymous  sheet  called  the  Ulurcialago  {the  Bat) 
asserted  that  Cristina  received  ;^400,ooo  out  of  this  forced  loan  of 
;^i, 800,000.  It  was  believed  that  her  Bourse  speculations  and  con- 
cession and  contract  dealing  at  this  period  produced  her  an  enormous 


general  distrust,  a  serious  dispute,  nearly  leading  to 
war,  was  progressing  with  the  United  States  on  the 
question  of  an  attack  upon  American  interests  in 
Cuba.  The  United  States  minister  in  Madrid — Mr. 
Soule — was  strongly  in  favour  of  the  annexation  of 
the  island,  and  actively  aided  the  opposition  to  the 
Spanish  Government  in  the  hope  of  profiting  by 
the  disorder  ;  his  efforts  culminating  in  an  offer  on 
the  part  of  the  United  States  to  buy  Cuba  for  the 
sum  of  120  million  dollars.  The  Government  of 
Washington,  however,  declined  to  go  quite  so  far 
as  its  agent  and  to  threaten  immediate  intervention 
in  the  Antilles  when  the  offer  was  not  accepted; 
although  they  reserved  their  right  to  do  so  if 
insurrection  broke  out  in  the  island. 

The  exiled  and  hidden  generals  in  the  meanwhile  in- 
dustriously intrigued  for  the  overthrow  of  the  hated  San 
Luis,  whilst  the  press  and  the  people,  for  the  first  time, 
began  to  hint  that  honest  constitutional  government 
could  only  be  hoped  for  by  the  sacrifice  not  only  of 
the  ministry  but  of  the  Queen  herself.  It  was  seen 
that  she  had  never  made  any  attempt  to  check  the 
exercise  of  unconstitutional  power  by  her  ministers  ; 
that  her  prerogative  had  been  used  capriciously, 
foolishly  and  corruptly;  that  the  wretched  domestic 
squabbles  which  disgraced  the  palace,  and  the  extra- 
ordinary character  of  her  private  life,  rendered  her 
untrustworthy  as  the  head  of  a  limited  monarchy. 
So  scandalised  was  the  press,  indeed,  that  when  in 
January,  1854,  the  Queen  gave  birth  to  another  child, 
which  died  soon  afterwards,  complete  silence  with 
regard  to  the  event  was  maintained  by  the  principal 
papers  of  the  capital. 


It  must  not  be  forgotten  that  the  active  preparation 
for  revolution  was  confined  almost  entirely  to  the 
broader  sections  of  the  "  moderate "  party  ;  the 
Liberals,  persecuted  and  in  exile,  hopeless  of  effective 
parliamentary  action,  or  of  any  satisfactory  solution 
of  the  trouble  under  "  moderate  "  auspices,  standing 
aloof  from  the  intrigues  against  the  Government. 
The  first  outburst  of  military  revolt  took  place  in 
Zaragoza  in  February,  1 854,  but  this  was  promptly  sup- 
pressed, and  San  Luis,  emboldened  by  the  victory, 
recommenced  the  persecution  of  his  opponents  with 
redoubled  severity.  General  Leopold  O'Donnell  was 
hidden  in  Madrid  and  had  gained  to  the  cause  of  the 
revolution  General  Dulce,  the  commander  of  the 
cavalry  in  the  capital ;  the  rising  being  arranged  for 
the   13th  of  June,  in  a  village  near  Madrid. 

The  Government,  however,  became  suspicious  of 
Dulce,  and  the  plan  was  for  a  time  frustrated  ;  but 
when  an  order  was  given  by  the  Government  for 
several  of  the  cavalry  regiments  in  Madrid  to  pro- 
ceed to  distant  parts  of  Spain,  Dulce  saw  that  he 
must  act  at  once  or  fail.  Before  dawn  on  the  morn- 
ing of  June  28th,^  he  mustered  three  regiments  of 
cavalry,  and  marched  them  into  the  suburbs,  where 
a  battalion  of  infantry  joined  him,  and  O'Donnell 
himself  took    command  ;    the    other   generals    being 

'  As  an  instance  of  the  excited  state  of  feeling  in  Madrid,  the  writer 
has  often  heard  it  related  by  members  of  his  family  who  lived  at  the 
time  in  the  same  house  as  General  Dulce  (Calle  de  la  Reina)  that  as 
he  was  going  out  on  this  occasion  the  general,  by  accident,  dropped  his 
sword  clattering  on  to  the  stairs.  The  noise  in  the  early  morning 
aroused  the  whole  house,  and  the  news  passed  at  once  that  "  the  revo- 
lution "  was  for  that  day. 


Ros  de  Olano,  Mesina,  and  Echagiie.  Dulce  and  his 
friends  at  once  published  an  address  to  the  Queen, 
demanding  the  dismissal  of  the  ministry  and  the 
restoration  of  the  constitutional  regime. 

Isabel  was  at  La  Granja,  and  on  this  occasion 
unquestionably  saved  her  crown  by  her  pluck  and 
confidence.  Without  a  moment's  hesitation  she 
hastened  back  to  Madrid,  and  if  she  had  not  been 
restrained  by  her  friends  and  ministers,  would  person- 
ally have  gone  and  remonstrated  with  the  revolted 
generals.  With  almost  foolish  bravado  she  drove 
herself  through  her  discontented  capital  without 
escort,  her  poor  little  husband  cowering  by  her  side, 
sorely  against  his  will ;  whilst  from  every  part  of 
the  country  came  news  of  disaffection  and  anticipated 
revolt.  Either  from  obstinacy  or  ineptitude,  however, 
the  Queen  still  clung  to  her  unpopular  ministers,  and 
insisted  upon  using  her  partly  recovered  influence 
to  prop  up  their  impossible  cause.  On  the  30th 
of  June  O'Donnell  and  his  force  advanced  upon  the 
capital,  and  were  met  at  Vicalvaro  by  the  Minister  of 
War,  General  Blaser,  with  what  was  left  of  the  Madrid 
garrison  ;  a  brief  combat  ensuing  without  decisive 
result,  the  mutineers  then  retiring  to  Aranjuez,  and 
Blaser's  infantry  returning  to  Madrid  in  disorder. 

The  Queen  was  overwhelmed  with  grief  "  I  will 
have  no  more  bloodshed,"  she  wept,  "  and  my  troops 
shall  not  fight  with  their  own  comrades.  Why  cannot 
Spaniards  be  friends  one  with  another?  for  I  love 
them  all.  I  am  aware  that  my  throne  is  identified 
with  liberal  institutions,  and  I  have  no  wish  to 
weaken   them.     I   am   not  ignorant  of  the  rights  of 


41 8  ON    THE   SWPE    OF  REVOLUTION. 

Parliament,  and  am  willing  that  Cortes  should  meet 
and  discuss  and  arrange  everything.  Why  should 
there  be  this  conflict  between  brothers?"^ 

In  the  circumstances  it  would  have  been  easy  to 
have  restored  tranquillity  if  the  San  Luis  ministry 
had  had  the  patriotism  to  resign,  or  the  Queen  the 
good  sense  to  dismiss  them  ;  but  although  they  were 
both  full  of  the  professed  desire  to  avoid  further  dis- 
turbance, neither  took  the  only  obvious  step  which 
would  have  secured  peace. 

In  the  meanwhile  public  feeling  became  daily  more 
exasperated,  and  fresh  regiments  declared  for  the 
revolt.  O'Donnell  marched  towards  Andalusia, 
followed  by  Blaser  with  nearly  all  the  Madrid 
garrison  ;  and  the  obstinate  San  Luis  in  the  capital 
violated  all  laws  and  humanity  by  his  persecution  of 
private  citizens,  and  his  more  than  mediaeval  tyranny. 
But  still  the  Liberals  held  aloof  from  what  was  clearly 
a  Conservative  military  rising,  until  O'Donnell  and 
his  friends,  seeing  the  need  for  attracting  them, 
suddenly  issued  a  new  manifesto  from  Manzanares  ^ 
(July  7th)  formulating  the  demands  which  had 
always  been  those  of  the  progressive  party.  De-cen- 
tralisation of  local  government,  a  free  press,  electoral 
reform,  respect  for  the  constitution,  the  throne  without 
a  shameful  camarilla  behind  it,  the  organisation  of  a 
National  Militia  :  these  and  similar  demands  imme- 

'  General  Cordoba  relates  the  Queen's  conversation  with  him  in  his 
"  Memoria  "  of  the  events  of  July,  1854. 

-  This  manifesto  was  drawn  up  by  Antonio  Canovas  del  Castillo,  the 
afterwards  famous  minister,  and  it  is  asserted  that  the  important  change 
of  policy  was  at  first  opposed  by  O'Donnell,  who  was  always  a  Con- 
servative, and  mainly  urged  by  Canovas  and  Serrano. 


diately  altered  the  aspect  of  affairs.  This  was  a  pro- 
gramme that  the  people  themselves  could  understand, 
and  the  rising  was  no  longer  a  military  revolt  to 
serve  the  ends  of  ambitious  generals,  but  a  popular 
revolution,  in  which  the  army  aided  the  people  to 
regain  their  citizen  rights.  Like  a  whirlwind  the 
feeling  swept  over  the  country,  and  capital  after 
capital  in  the  provinces  rallied  to  the  movement. 

On  the  17th  of  Juh'  news  came  to  Madrid  that 
Barcelona  had  joined  the  revolution,  and  San  Luis 
at  length  bent  before  the  storm  and  hurriedly 
resigned,  General  Cordoba  being  entrusted  with  the 
formation  of  a  cabinet,  of  which,  however,  the  Duke 
of  Rivas  was  the  nominal  chief  Espartero  was 
induced  to  leave  his  retirement  at  Logrono  and 
entered  Zaragoza  in  triumph  ;  O'Donnell  was  invited 
by  the  Queen  to  come  to  Madrid,  and  the  authorities 
hastened  to  appeal  to  the  armed  forces  in  revolt  to 
maintain  public  order.  But  it  was  too  late ;  San 
Luis  had  held  on  to  power  until  the  dogs  of  conflict 
had  been  let  loose.  On  the  night  of  the  17th  of  July 
the  people  of  Madrid  rose,  and  on  the  following  day 
they  beset  the  houses  of  the  fallen  ministers,  of 
Salamanca,  and  of  Queen  Cristina.  The  troops  in 
the  capital  were  few,  Cordoba  was  very  unpopular, 
the  officers  were  disaffected,  and  the  infuriated  popu- 
lace worked  their  will  almost  unchecked.  Burning, 
wrecking,  and  pillaging,  the  mob  dominated  the  city 
during  the  day  and  ensuing  night,  though  only  after 
considerable  bloodshed  ;  especially  in  Cristina's 
palace.  A  revolutionary  government  was  elected 
and    installed    under    General     San    Miguel    in    the 


Guildhall/  and  a  deputation  of  the  rioters  demanded 
an  interview  with  the  Queen,  an  immense  multitude 
assembling  before  the  palace,  clamouring  for  the 
heads  of  the  fallen  ministers.  General  Cordoba 
tried  to  tranquillise  them,  but  unsuccessfully  ;  and 
the  Queen  was  forced  to  receive  the  spokesmen  of 
the  revolt.  She  promised  to  "  do  her  best  to  satisfy  " 
them,  but  such  a  promise  as  this  was  powerless  to 
dissolve  the  impromptu  authoi"ities  which  had 
assumed  control  of  the  Guildhall  and  the  Civil 
Government  offices.  Ejected  from  these  offices  by 
Cordoba,  the  revolutionists  assembled  in  the  Plaza 
Mayor,  and  there  a  sanguinary  conflict  took  place 
between  the  people  and  the  troops. ^ 

All  next  day  (July  19th)  the  bloodshed  in  the  streets 
continued,  though  General  Cordoba's  disposal  of  his 
troops  prevented  the  mob  from  again  approaching 
the  palace.  Barricades  sprang  up  in  the  Puerta  del 
Sol  and  the  principal  streets,  and  the  long  defensive 
line  drawn  transversely  across  the  city  by  General 
Cordoba  was  repeatedly  attacked  throughout  its 
length  by  the  angry  populace  desirous  of  reaching 
the  presence  of  the  Queen.  The  latter,  in  tears, 
beside  herself  with  grief,  was  ready  to  do  anything 
to  save  further  bloodshed  :  and  in  the  afternoon  of 

'  A  rival  revolutionary  government  of  the  dangerous  classes  was 
also  set  up  in  the  poorer  quarter  under  a  popular  bull-fighter, 
"  Pucheta,"  which  proved  a  source  of  iriuch  trouble. 

=  So  critical  was  the  situation  at  this  time  that,  on  Cordoba's  advice, 
the  Queen  made  all  arrangements  for  flight,  which  was  only  prevented 
by  the  urgent  prayers  and  warnings  of  wiser  people.  The  King's  sisters 
and  his  brother  Fernando  took  refuge  in  the  French  Embassy,  where 
the  latter,  who  was  weak-witted,  died  of  the  fright  a  day  or  two 


the  19th  dismissed  Cordoba's  forty  hours'  ministry, 
and  summoned  Espartero  to  Madrid  to  take  charge 
of  the  Government.  This  was  a  blow  that  the 
"moderates"  had  not  expected,  but  the  populace 
knew  now  that  they  had  gained  the  victory.  The 
troops  were  mostly  withdrawn  from  the  streets,  and 
confined  to  quarters.  But  the  people  had  been 
deceived  too  often  to  trust  the  Queen  again  until 
Espartero  himself  should  appear :  they  raised  fresh 
barricades,  and,  still  standing  to  their  arms,  occupied 
all  the  strategic  points.  Soon  the  troops  were  caught 
by  the  popular  enthusiasm  and  began  to  waver.  San 
Miguel,  by  order  of  the  Queen,  assumed  command 
of  the  capital,  for  Cordoba  now  was  a  mere  shadow, 
all  the  revolted  generals  were  restored  to  their  ranks 
and  honours,  and  the  revolution  was  triumphant. 

The  throne  of  Isabel  still  trembled  in  the  balance. 
Espartero,  fully  conscious  that  he  alone  could  save 
it,  dictated  his  terms  to  the  Queen.  His  envoy  was 
General  Salazar,  who,  shocked  at  the  levity  of  the 
sovereign,  now  that  the  immediate  alarm  was  past, 
told  her  in  scathing  words  what  was  thought  of  the 
reported  irregularities  of  her  life.  Such  boldness  was 
new  to  Isabel,  who  turned  upon  him  like  a  fury,  but 
he  held  his  ground,  and  told  her  her  conduct  was  a  {/ 
disgrace  to  her  sex  and  country.  In  her  rage  the 
Oueen  swore  she  would  have  no  more  to  do  with 
Espartero  or  a  party  who  sent  such  an  envoy  as  this. 
She  would  abdicate,  and  leave  Spaniards  to  get  on 
as  best  they  might  without  her.  But  when  it  was 
pointed  out  to  her  that,  if  she  went,  she  must  leave 
her  only  daughter  behind   her,  the  reckless  woman 


once  more  changed  her  mind,  accepted  Espartero's 
terms,  and  issued  a  proclamation  in  which  she 
announced  her  full  sympathy  with  the  revolution, 
and,  to  crown  all,  accepted  Salazar  as  one  of  her 

Madrid,  and  Spain  generally,  once  more  gave  way 
to  mad  and  frantic  rejoicing.  All  evils  were  to  dis- 
appear, all  wrongs  to  be  righted,  and  poverty  was  to 
be  a  thing  of  the  past.  Oratory  in  an  irresistible 
flood  again  swept  over  the  land  ;  from  every  flag- 
decked  barricade,  from  every  gaudy  balcony,  excited 
citizens  with  pompous  verbosity,  apostrophised  por- 
traits of  Espartero,  or  indulged  in  roseate  prophecies 
of  imperishable  glory  for  those  who,  like  themselves, 
had  aided  the  never-to-be-forgotten  revolution. 

Espartero's  triumphal  entry  into  the  capital  on 
the  28th  of  July  was  the  culminating  point  of  the 
enthusiasm.  Through  a  populace  ready  to  adore 
him  almost  as  a  demigod,  the  fortunate  soldier, 
waving  his  sword  and  delivering  inflated  speeches, 
slowly  made  his  way  to  the  palace,  once  more,  after 
eleven  years,  to  receive  from  the  hands  of  the  Queen 
whose  throne  he  had  saved  years  before  the  govern- 
ment of  the  country  from  which  her  mother  had 
driven  him.  But  his  speeches  and  those  of  his 
friends  left  no  doubt  that  this  time,  if  the  Queen  was 
to  be  allowed  to  retain  her  crown,  all  power  must  be 
taken  from  her,  and  the  people  made  supreme. 

On  the  following  day  O'Donnell  made  his  entry, 
chagrined  that  he,  the  leader  of  the  revolt,  should  be 
forced  to  play  second  fiddle  to  Espartero  ;  but  the 
two  popular  heroes  theatrically  embraced  in  public, 

ATTACKS    ON   CRIST  IN  A.  423 

though,  as   will  be   seen,  their  harmony  was  not  of 
long  duration. 

The  task  of  Espartero's  ministry  was  extremely 
difficult.  Anarchy  had  dominated  Spain  for  over 
three  weeks,  and  the  host  of  revolutionary  authorities 
which  had  installed  themselves  in  provincial  govern- 
ments were  hard  to  deal  with.  They  had  made  lavish 
promises,  appointed  generals  and  important  officers 
by  the  score,  and  had  carried  their  assumed  authority 
with  a  high  hand.  Shoals  of  clamorous  newspapers, 
too,  had  sprung  up  side  by  side  with  excited  oratorical 
clubs,  formulating  wild  theories  and  extreme  demands. 
The  advanced  Liberals,  so  long  under  a  cloud,  now 
lorded  it  over  all,  and  claimed  rewards  for  past  per- 
secutions beyond  the  possibility  of  satisfaction,  whilst 
the  "  moderates,"  who  had  started  the  revolution, 
looked  on  with  unconcealed  disgust  at  the  progress 
of  events. 

The  principal  popular  irritation  was  against  Cris- 
tina,  whose  position  was  gravely  perilous.  From 
her  wrecked  home  she  had  sought  refuge  in  her 
daughter's  palace,  and  night  and  day  there  rang  in 
her  ears  the  curses  of  the  people  upon  her.  Cries  for 
her  imprisonment,  for  her  death,  and  for  the  restora- 
tion of  her  illgotten  plunder,  were  ceaselessly  uttered 
in  the  press  and  the  clubs,  until  the  Government  itself 
was  forced  to  promise  the  people  that  she  should  not 
be  allowed  to  escape  until  justice  had  been  done. 
But  though  every  exit  from  the  palace  and  the  town 
was  jealously  watched  by  the  mob,  the  Queen-mother 
herself  withstood  all  suggestions  that  she  should  fly  in 
disguise  from  the  fury  that  was  lying  in  wait  for  her. 

424  ON    THE   SLOPE    OF  HE  VOLUTION. 

"I  will  leave  this  place  as  a  queen,"  she  said  proudly, 
"  or  I  will  never  leave  it."  But  the  scandal  of  such  a 
position  could  not  endure,  and  at  daybreak,  on  the 
28th  of  August,  whilst  Madrid  was  yet  sleeping, 
Cristina,  with  a  powerful  escort,  set  out  for  Portugal. 
The  fury  of  the  populace  when  they  heard  that  their 
prey  had  escaped  knew  no  bounds.'  Barricades  again 
sprang  up,  and  "  Death  to  Espartero  !  down  with  the 
Government !  "  was  now  the  cry  ;  but  the  dictator  had 
a  firm  grip,  and  soon  crushed  the  disorder,  whilst  the 
talking-clubs  were  suppressed,  and  the  more  violent 
newspapers  held  in  check. 

From  the  seething  mass  of  conflicting  claims  and 
warring  interests  Espartero,  who  was  a  man  of  no 
political  sagacity,  was  powerless  alone  to  extricate 
the  country.  Swayed  from  one  side  to  the  other  by 
the  demands  of  the  two  elements  of  his  coalition 
Government,  and  b}^  the  strife  of  parties  outside  ;  he 
could  only  formulate  his  remedy  in  the  invariable 
phrase  :  "  Let  the  national  will  be  fulfilled  "  ;  and  in 
pursuance  of  this  policy  a  constituent  Cortes  was 
summoned  to  be  elected  on  the  basis  of  the  Con- 
stitution of  1837,  in  disregard  of  the  various  alter- 
ations in  the  code  that  subsequent  ministers  had 
made.  Nothing  was  allowed  to  be  prejudged  or 
taken  for  granted — -not  even  the  continuance  of  the 
monarchy  itself ;  the  Cortes  was  to  be  supreme  and 

'  It  is  fair  to  say  that  subsequently  a  Parliamentary  Committee  held 
a  minute  inquiry  into  the  accusations  of  malversation  and  peculation 
against  Cristina,  and,  after  six  months'  investigation,  they  declared  that 
they  had  found  no  proofs  of  her  guilt.  Cristina  lived  for  the  rest  of 
her  life  in  France. 



untrammelled  in  its  choice  of  national  institutions, 
and,  for  once  even,  the  Government  refrained  to  some 
extent  from  exerting  pressure  over  the  elections. 

The  opening  of  the  Chamber  by  the  Queen  on  the 
8th  of  November,  1854,  was  a  turning-point  of  her 
career.  From  July  she  had  been  merely  a  sovereign  on 
sufferance,  and  the  Cortes  held  itself  free  to  proclaim 
a  republic  if  it  pleased.  This  was  Isabel's  first  public 
reappearance  after  the  revolution,  and  her  popular 
manner  and  beautiful  voice  suddenly  turned  the 
wavering  tide  in  her  favour.  After  her  speech  from 
the  throne  the  House  burst  into  resounding  cheers, 
and  the  Queen's  crown  was  saved  to  her  for  another 
fourteen  years.  Whilst  the  parties  of  O'Donnell  and 
Espartero  only  with  great  difficulty  kept  up  even 
an  appearance  of  union  in  the  Cortes,  the  public 
effervescence  in  the  country  continued  unchecked, 
especially  amongst  the  disappointed  advanced  Liberals 
and  the  National  Militia,  who  chafed  at  the  coalition. 
Once  more  Carlism  renewed  its  intrigues  under 
the  fostering  care  of  the  clergy,  whilst  the  terrible 
scourge  of  cholera  swept  the  country  from  end  to 
end,  to  an  extent  that  forced  the  Cortes  to  suspend 
its  sittings  in  the  summer  of  1855.  Under  these 
circumstances  it  is  not  surprising  that  lassitude  and 
discouragement  fell  upon  the  masses,  who  had  hoped 
everything  from  the  results  of  the  revolution. 

The  fundamental  bases  of  the  new  Constitution — 
agreed  upon  after  infinite  discussion — affirmed  the 
sovereignty  of  the  people,  the  monopoly  of  the 
Catholic  Church,  and  the  continuance  of  the  Bourbon 
dynasty.     The  republican  party  were  clamorous  but 

THE    CONSTITUTION   OF    1 856.  427 

small,  only  23  members  voting  against  the  crown  of 
Isabel  ;  for  Spain  was  yet  far  from  ready  for  a 
republican  form  of  government.  There  never  has 
been,  indeed,  amongst  Spaniards  that  jealousy  and 
hatred  between  classes  which  in  other  countries  has 
led  to  the  overthrow  of  aristocratic  domination.  The 
high  nobility  is  constantly  recruited  from  rich  plebeians 
and  from  active  revolutionists,  and  a  duke  is  just  as 
likely  to  be  a  democrat  as  is  a  person  of  lower  rank. 
The  division  of  political  parties  by  social  layers,  except 
perhaps  in  Cataluna,  is,  therefore,  a  danger  which 
Spain  has  escaped,  and  this  is  still  the  most  hopeful 
fact  for  the  future  regeneration  of  the  country. 

But  though  the  monarchy  was  reaffirmed,  and 
Isabel  was  as  popular  as  ever  so  long  as  she 
consented  to  remain  a  cipher,  no  sooner  did  she 
attempt  to  express  a  political  opinion  of  her  own 
than  her  position  became  dangerous  again.  A  new- 
law  for  the  disamortisation  and  sale  of  entailed  lands 
and  Church  property  was  proposed,  which  met  with 
her  tearful  and  passionate  protest.'  She  again 
threatened  to  abdicate  rather  than  sanction  its  intro- 
duction, and  only  on  the  stern  insistence  of  Espartero 
she  gave  way  thus  far.     But  during  the  discussion 

'  The  amount  of  such  property  was  still  immense.  It  was  proposed 
to  apply  the  proceeds  of  the  sale  to  the  national  uses,  the  payment  of 
debt,  promotion  of  public  works,  and  the  like,  the  clergy  being  given 
Consols  to  an  amount  equal  to  the  value  of  the  appropriated  lands.  It 
was  calculated  that  the  property  in  mortmain  sold  prior  to  this  Act  of 
the  1st  of  May,  1855,  reached  ^^57, 000,000,  and  that  even  a  larger 
amount  then  remained  to  be  sold.  Although  much  jobbery  and  mis- 
management existed,  it  cannot  be  denied  that  the  remarkable  material 
advance  of  Spain  in  the  following  few  years  was  largely  owing  to  the 
vast  amount  of  property  thus  let  loose. 


of  the  Bill  the  King-consort  and  his  camarilla  of 
bleeding  nuns  and  mystic  monks  set  all  the  ecclesias- 
tical machinery  to  work  to  influence  the  Queen.' 
Miraculous  images  sweated  blood  over  the  altars, 
the  Pope's  Nunico  exhorted  Isabel  to  keep  faith  with 
the  Church  of  God  at  any  cost,  and  the  royal  con- 
fessors whispered  that  this  was  the  turning-point 
where  the  Queen  must  stand  firm  against  impious 
aggression.  The  poor  woman,  at  her  wits'  end,  began 
by  flatly  refusing  to  sanction  the  Act,  and  the  ministry 
decided  to  resign ;  the  advanced  Liberal  members 
of  the  Cortes  even  proposed  to  declare  the  throne 
vacant  ;  the  Queen  on  her  side  entering  into  a  palace 
plot  to  fly  to  the  Basque  provinces  and  there  to  issue 
a  national  manifesto.  The  intention  was  discovered, 
and  she  was  obliged  to  yield  to  the  pressure  brought 
to  bear  upon  her ;  but  though  she  signed  the  Act  she 
did  it  against  her  conscience,  and  with  the  intention 
of  overthrowing  at  the  earliest  possible  moment  the 
men  who  had  wrung  her  consent  from  her.  Relations 
between  Spain  and  the  papacy  were  broken  off,  the 
bleeding  nun  was  banished,  and  a  clean  sweep  made 
of  the  priests  and  courtiers  who  had  surrounded  the 
Queen.  The  poor  King-consort  made  an  undignified 
little  attempt  at  resistance  to  the  removal  of  his 
servants.  With  a  few  halberdiers  he  stationed  him- 
self in  front  of  his  own  apartments,  and  squeaked  out 
his  irrevocable  determination  of  allowing  the  passage 
of  the  Government  officers  only  over  his  own  dead 
body.  The  tears  and  entreaties  of  his  wife,  however, 
melted  his  heart,  and  his  terrible  threat  remained 


The  interests  attacked  by  Espartero  were  still 
powerful  and  vigorous.  The  clergy  and  the  reaction- 
aries left  no  weapon  idle  that  could  damage  him,  from 
the  rising  of  Carlist  bands  to  the  stinging  satires  of 
"  El  Padre  Cobos "  ;  and  Espartero,  by  his  simple- 
minded  boastfulness  and  theatrical  attitudinising,  laid 
himself  especially  open  to  the  deadly  arm  of  ridicule. 
There  was  no  lack  of  well-founded  discontent  upon 
which  to  base  these  attacks.  Ninety  new  Acts  had 
been  passed  by  the  Cortes  before  the  cholera  sus- 
pended its  sittings  (July,  1855),  but  they  had  nearly  all 
been  of  a  partial  or  personal  character  at  the  expense  of 
the  nation,  whilst  the  new  electoral  law  was  still  in 
embryo,  the  Municipal  Act  of  1821  had  only  been 
restored  provisional!}',  and  the  great  deficit  caused 
by  the  sudden  alteration  of  the  fiscal  policy  had  to 
be  filled  up  by  forced  loans,  which  caused  uneasiness 
and  distrust.  Nearly  everybody  who  had  claimed  to 
be  a  Liberal  during  the  last  eleven  years  of  reaction, 
or  who  had  suffered  exile  or  persecution,  was  loaded 
with  honours,  pensions,  and  rewards  ;  the  officers  of 
the  army  had  been  promoted  ejt  viasse,  and  exemp- 
tions from  service  granted  wholesale.  All  this  was 
costly,  and  aroused  jealous  dissension. 

As  the  ministry  grew  less  and  less  popular,  man}' 
of  its  members  were  consequently  changed,  until  at 
last  almost  the  onl}^  Liberal  remaining  in  it  was 
Espartero  himself,  who,  tired  of  the  ceaseless  attacks, 
and  disappointed  at  the  greed  of  his  followers,  also 
talked  of  retiring.  In  the  meanwhile  the  Queen 
constantly  thwarted  the  Government,  socialist  and 
anarchist  risings  were  rife  in  Barcelona,  Valencia,  and 


Zaragoza,  the  Carlists  were  again  in  arms,  and  the 
National  Militia  was  a  source  of  alarm  to  peaceful 
citizens  :  blazing  ricks  and  gutted  factories  every- 
where telling  the  tale  that  the  anti-social  movement 
had  now  spread  from  turbulent  Cataluiia  to  Conser- 
vative Castile. 

In  this  turmoil  of  discontent  and  disturbance,  with 
simple,  honest  Espartero,  a  mere  straw  upon  the 
torrent,  the  Cortes  hotly  and  copiously  discussed  the 
details  of  the  new  Constitution,  late  in  1855,  the 
great  effort  of  the  Liberal  majority  being  to  drive 
O'Donnell  from  the  ministry,  and  leave  Espartero 
supreme,  which  would  have  been  easy  but  for  the 
almost  quixotic  loyalty  of  the  latter  to  his  Conserva- 
tive colleague.  I'hey  were  unsuccessful,  but  con- 
trived, early  in  January,  1856,  to  infuse  a  new  Liberal 
element  into  the  ministry  on  the  question  of  the 
punishment  of  a  regiment  of  militia  on  duty  at  the 
Cortes,  which  had  revolted  abortively  on  a  cry  of 
"  Viva  la  Republica  !  " 

The  new  Constitution  was  voted  in  January, 
establishing  an  elective  senate,  a  congress  elected 
by  direct  vote  in  large  constituencies,  and  a  per- 
manent committee  with  power  of  summons,  to  sit 
during  the  recess  ;  but  when  it  came  t3  presenting 
it  to  the  Queen  for  sanction  and  promulgation, 
differences  arose  as  to  the  wisdom  of  doing  so.  The 
moment  the  fundamental  Acts  passed  in  the  Con- 
stituent Cortes  were  sanctioned  by  the  Crown,  the 
Parliament  became  an  ordinary  one,  and  could  be 
dissolved  by  the  minister ;  for  which  reason  the 
majority,  desiring    to  prolong   the   existence   of  the 


Constituent  Cortes  indefinite!}-,  as  a  menace  to  the 
Crown,  prevented  the  acts  from  being  laid  before 
the  Queen.  O'Donnell  was  rapidly  reaching  the 
limit  of  even  his  gn.'at  patience,  and  with  the  tacit 
if  not  expressed  co-operation  of  the  Queen,  deter- 
mined to  put  an  end  to  so  abnormal  a  situation  ; 
and  at  the  same  time  to  destroy  the  revolution 
which  he  had  been  mainlv  instrumental  in  making. 
Dissensions  broke  out  between  Espartero  and 
O'Donnell  in  the  matter  of  repressive  measures  to 
be  taken  against  the  incendiary  anarchists  ;  and  the 
Liberal  leader  was  warned  by  his  friends  that  the 
Queen  and  his  colleagues  were  planning  his  downfall, 
some  of  them  going  to  the  length  of  advising  him  to 
anticipate  O'Donnell's  treachery  by  a  coup  d'e'iat. 
But  Espartero,  vain  and  self-deceived  as  usual, 
thought  he  could  bring  the  Queen  to  her  knees  by 
a  threat  of  resignation.  On  the  occasion  of  a  mid- 
night cabinet  council  before  the  Queen  in  Jul}-,  1856, 
Escosura,  the  Liberal  Home  Minister,  announced 
that  he  would  not  remain  in  the  same  ministry  with 
O'Donnell.  It  was  agreed  that  both  should  resign, 
and  Espartero,  trusting  to  the  Queen's  word  that 
she  w-ould  never  pardon  O'Donnell  for  the  rising  of 
Vicalvaro,  determined  to  stand  by  Escosura  and 
resign  also,  in  the  belief  that  he  could  form  a  new 
government  of  Liberals,  leaving  out  O'Donnell  and 
the  Conservatives.  But  a  little  comedy  had  been 
arranged  between  O'Donnell  and  the  Queen  ;  and 
as  Espartero  announced  his  resignation  and  was 
leaving  the  room,  Isabel  turned  to  O'Donnell  and 
said  :  "  I  am  sure  }-ou  won't  abandon  me,  will  you  ? " 


O'Doiinell  had  no  intention  of  doing  so,  for  he  had 
a  Hst  of  new  ministers  in  his  pocket  of  which  the 
Queen  had  approved,  and  the  next  day  before  dawn, 
14th  of  July,  he  was  sworn  in  as  Prime  Minister,  to  the 
dismay  of  the  self-deceived  Espartero  and  his  friends. 

The  rage  of  the  betrayed  Liberals  knew  no 
bounds,  and  it  was  evident  from  the  first  moment 
that  a  combat  was  impending.  Espartero's  want 
of  statecraft  had  brought  matters  to  this  pass,  and 
his  ineptitude  continued  the  disaster.  He  was  still 
so  powerful  that  he  might  have  appealed  successfully 
to  the  people  to  prevent  the  work  of  the  revolution 
from  being  destroyed  ;  or,  on  the  other  hand,  he 
might  have  accepted  the  reaction  and  have  prevented 
bloodshed.  But  he  did  neither,  and  held  his  peace, 
allowing  the  citizens  to  fight  O'Donnell's  soldiers 
without  the  prestige  of  his  leadership  or  the  united 
aid  of  the  militia.  A  hasty  meeting  of  the  Cortes  was 
called  on  the  same  day,  and  passed  a  vote  of  censure 
on  the  new  ministry,  but  before  it  could  be  handed 
to  the  Queen  the  battle  was  raging  in  the  streets  ot 
Madrid,  and  the  Cortes  and  the  people  were  calling 
ineffectually  upon  Espartero  to  lead  them. 

A\\  day  on  the  14th,  and  most  of  the  15th,  the 
fighting  went  on,  the  Liberal  rump  of  the  Cortes 
remaining  in  permanent  session.  Serrano  swept  the 
streets  with  grapeshot,  and  bombs  fell  in  the  midst 
of  the  palace  of  the  Congress,^  until,  at  last,  in  the 

'  This  was  the  new  Parliament  house  shown  in  the  ilhistration.  It 
was  inaugurated  in  1850,  the  Senate  still  continuing  to  sit  in  the 
ancient  Convent  of  Maria  de  Aragon,  close  to  the  royal  palace,  where 
the  Cortes  of  Fernando  VII.  had  met. 


early  afternoon  of  the  1 5th  of  July,  further  resistance 
was  seen  to  be  useless  ;  the  few  regiments  of  militia 
in  arms  were  without  ammunition  and  abandoned 
the  defence,  the  Constituent  Cortes  thus  coming  to 
a  violent  end.  In  two  days  O'Donnell  had  undone 
amidst  bloodshed  the  work  which  he  had  inaugurated 
by  violence  at  Vicalvaro  two  years  before  ;  and  once 
more  parliamentary  liberties  were  crushed  under  the 
iron  heel  of  the  soldier.  During  those  two  days  of 
battle  Espartero  might  easily  have  turned  the  tide 
by  leading  out  the  militia,  far  more  numerous  than 
the  troops,  and  the  throne  of  Isabel  II.  would  not 
have  been  worth  two  hours'  purchase.  But  whilst 
he  hesitated,  the  chance  went  by,  and  reaction  was 
victorious  before  he  attempted  his  lame  justification. 
Isabel,  who  had  shown  from  the  first  the  utmost 
bravery,  and  herself  encouraged  the  troops  in  front 
of  the  palace,  thus  gained  a  personal  victory  over 
the  liberalism  which,  like  her  father,  she  hated  and 

After  Madrid,  the  provinces  were  soon  dominated  ; 
and  then  O'Donnell  set  about  his  work  of  govern- 
ment, after  declaring  the  country  in  a  state  of  siege. 
The  Cortes  was  dissolved  and  the  National  Militia 
disbanded  ;  but  violent  reaction  was  no  part  of 
O'Donnell's  scheme,  and  he  showed  great  moderation 
to  those  whom  he  had  overcome.  The  person, 
however,  who  had  gained  the  real  victory  in  the  late 
change  was  the  Queen,  and  she  now  made  her 
influence  felt.  The  new  draft  Constitution  was 
dropped    without    much    regret,    and    that    of    1845 



substituted  ;  ^  but  it  cost  O'Donnell  a  struggle  to 
give  way  to  Isabel's  demands  that  the  sale  of 
the  Church  lands  should  be  suspended  and  the 
embargo  on  Cristina's  property  removed.  With 
tears,  caresses,  and  professions  of  attachment  to  him, 
the  Queen  worked  her  will,  but  as  he  felt  himself 
being  led  on  the  downward  path  of  reaction,  the 
truth  came  to  him.  The  Queen  had  used  him  only 
as  a  tool  to  get  rid  of  Espartero,  and  hated  him  still 
for  Vicalvaro  and  her  two  years  of  humiliation. 
She  was  a  real  daughter  of  Fernando,  and  smiled 
whilst  she  betrayed.  Suddenly  Narvaez,  the  true 
Conservative  leader,  appeared  in  Madrid,  was  wel- 
comed by  Isabel  with  open  arms,  and  O'Donnell 
received  his  dismissal  on  the  I2th  of  October,  1856. 

Spain  had  once  more,  by  extravagance  and  lack 
of  restraint  after  a  successful  revolution,  fallen  under 
the  hands  of  the  man  with  the  gag  and  the  stick, 
and  Narvaez  spared  neither.  With  Candido  Nocedal 
as  Home  Minister,  reaction  of  the  most  tyrannical 
type  was  now  paramount,  and  everything  done  by 
the  revolution  of  1854  was  ruthlessly  abrogated. 
The  new  Cortes  met  in  May,  1857  ;  the  Congress, 
by  the  usual  means,  consisting  mainly  of  the  slavish 
servants  of  the  ministry  of  the  day,  though  the 
Senate,  containing  as  it  did  most  of  the  revolu- 
tionary generals  of  1854,  offered  a  bitter  resistance 
to  reaction  and  kept  alive  public    irritation  against 

'  This  was  Narvaez's  Constitution,  abolishing  the  National  Sove- 
reignty, establishing  an  entirely  nominated  life-Senate,  five  years' 
Parliaments  (instead  of  three  years),  destroying  liberty  of  the  press,  and 
rendering  illegal  the  National  Militia. 


the  Government.  The  first  task  of  the  ministry, 
therefore,  was  to  "  reform  "  the  Senate  by  re-intro- 
ducing into  it  the  important  hereditary  element  ;  and 
when  this  was  done  and  the  press  silenced.  Parliament 
was  suspended. 

Narvaez  was  a  man  of  strange  contradictions, 
sincerely  believing  himself  to  be  a  Liberal  who 
was  constantly  being  forced  by  circumstances  into 
Conservative  courses.  This  view  was  perhaps  not 
altogether  so  absurd  as  it  appears,  though  it  was 
principally  a  violent  and  impatient  temper  that  was 
his  motive  power.  The  administration  of  his  Govern- 
ment, as  apart  from  its  legislation,  was  at  this  juncture 
enlightened  and  successful  ;  and  the  encouragement 
extended  by  him  to  public  works  and  agriculture 
inaugurated  a  period  of  comparative  prosperity  which 
the  country  enjoyed  for  some  years  afterwards.  But 
in  addition  to  his  platonic  leanings  towards  liberalism, 
which  did  not  please  the  Queen,  his  overbearing 
manner  now  jarred  upon  her  more  than  before  ;  for 
her  success  in  juggling  away  the  revolutionary 
generals  had  given  her  a  taste  of  personal  power,  and 
a  higher  notion  of  her  own  political  ability.^  She 
therefore  conceived  the  idea  of  being  her  own  Prime 
Minister,  and  freeing  herself  entirely  from  the  tute- 
lage of  generals.  Brabo  Murillo,  however,  whom  she 
privately    consulted    on    the    matter,    extreme    reac- 

'  The  Queen's  friend,  Don  Jose  de  Arana  (Duke  of  Baena),  whose 
influence  for  several  years  had  been  supreme,  had  now  given  place  to 
a  young  officer  named  Puig  Molto,  whom  it  is  said  Narvaez  treated 
with  his  usual  haughty  insolence.  It  was  asserted  that  Isabel's  desire 
to  get  rid  of  Narvaez  arose  partly  from  Puig  Molto's  dislike  of  him. 


tionist  though  he  was,  convinced  her  of  the  danger 
of  such  a  course,  and  she  then  took  the  extraordinary 
step  of  appointing  an  almost  Liberal  ministry  under 
General  Armero.  As  there  was  no  political  reason 
for  her  action,  and  she  had  been  for  weeks  wavering 
between  a  return  to  pure  absolutism  or  the  appoint- 
ment of  a  minister  even  more  reactionary  than 
Narvaez,  it  will  be  seen  that  she  acted  on  no  fixed 
principle,  but  was  swayed  by  the  personal  influences 
of  the  moment,  which  often  rendered  her  conduct 

An  event  happened  on  the  28th  of  November, 
1857,  which  altered  the  appearance  of  the  succession. 
The  Queen's  only  living  child  had  been  the  Princess 
of  Asturias,  heiress  to  the  crown,  but  on  the  date 
just  mentioned  the  little  princess  was  displaced 
and  lost  her  title  by  the  birth  of  her  brother 
Alfonso.  The  rejoicings  were  great,  so  far  as  official 
celebration  could  make  them,  but  the  birth  of  this 
child  added  another  thong  to  the  whip  which  the 
King-consort  could  hold  over  the  Queen  for  his 
personal  and  political  ends — and  it  also  had  the 
apparently  incongruous  effect  of  sending  Captain 
Puig  Molto  into  exile. 

When  Parliament  opened  in  January,  1858,  the 
Government  was  defeated  at  the  first  vote,  and  the 
Queen  in  her  anger  at  the  "  moderates "  for  voting 
against  her  Liberal  ministry,  was  for  dissolution  at 
once.  From  this,  however,  she  was  dissuaded,  and 
chose  a  Conservative  ministry  under  her  mother's 
old  friend,  Isturiz.  But  there  was  as  much  diver- 
gence of  views    between    the  "  moderates "  of     the 


O'Donnell  type  and  those  who  followed  Brabo 
Murillo  as  between  separate  parties,  and  the  Govern- 
ment soon  fell  to  pieces,  the  fickle  Queen  sending 
for  O'Donnell  once  more  on  the  30th  of  June,  and 
entrusting  him  with  the  formation  of  a  ministry. 
Around  O'Donnell  and  the  revolutionists  of  Vical- 
varo  there  had  gathered  a  strong  party  in  the 
country,  consisting  of  the  steady  Liberals  who  were 
alarmed  at  the  extravagances  which  Espartero 
always  brought  in  his  train,  and  of  the  Liberal- 
Conservatives  who  were  opposed  to  reaction  and 
absolutism.  This  party,  which  assumed  the  name 
of  the  "  Liberal  Union  "  under  O'Donnell  and  was 
for  several  years  to  come  to  exercise  great  influence, 
confessedly  stood  between  the  extremes  of  Narvaez 
and  Espartero. 

O'Donnell  was  an  ideal  man  for  the  leadership 
of  such  a  party.  His  family  and  associations  were 
Conservative,  but  his  rising  in  1854  had  proved 
that  he  was  receptive  of  Liberal  ideas.  The  extreme 
Liberals  hated  him  for  crushing  the  revolution  in 
1856,  whilst  the  thoroughgoing  Conservatives  utterly 
distrusted  him  for  his  rising  at  Vicalvaro  ;  but  he 
was  a  born  leader,  a  cool,  calculating  tactician,  with 
great  self-control  and  a  handsome,  winning  person- 
ality, so  that  men  of  temperate  views  belonging  to 
all  parties  joined  his  new  combination.  By  his  side 
he  had  a  man  of  great  penetration,  tenacity,  and  tact 
— Posada  Herrera,  the  Home  Minister — who  was  the 
brain  and  organiser  of  the  party,  and  by  his  advice 
such  men  as  would  rally  from  the  extreme  wings  to 
the    centre    were   satisfied    with    embassies   or   high 



administrative  posts,  whilst  the  elections  for  the  new 
Cortes  were  so  managed  as  to  secure,  as  usual,  an 
overwhelming  majority  for  the  ministry,  and  to  gain 
for  Posada  Herrera  the  title  of  the  "  grand  elector." 
This  Cortes,  which  was  to  last  the  almost  unprece- 
dented length  in  modern  times  of  its  full  life  of  five 
years,  was  notable  for  the  great  ability  of  many  of  its 
members  ;  for  the  "  grand  elector  "  had  given  admis- 
sion to  all  the  most  eminent  of  his  opponents,  the 
thirty  irreconcilable  Conservatives  being  led  by  Gon- 
zales Brabo,  and  the  twenty  advanced  Liberals  by 
Salustiano  de  Olozaga ;  all  the  rest,  being  members  of 
the  Liberal  Union,  were  obedient  to  the  nod  of  Posada 

It  will  be  readily  understood  that  only  by  the  most 
consummate  tactical  skill  in  setting  the  two  extreme 
factions  at  variance,  and  the  avoidance  of  legislation 
on  questions  of  fundamental  principle,  could  such  a 
party  as  the  "  Union  Liberal "  retain  power,  as  it  did, 
for  several  years.  It  was  perhaps  fortunate  that  this 
was  the  case,  as  the  Government  was  therefore  able 
to  devote  its  attention  to  the  improvement  in  the 
material  condition  of  the  country.  The  rapid  increase 
of  wealth  in  Europe  by  the  introduction  of  railways 
naturally  produced  its  result,  even  in  backward  Spain ; 
and  O'Donnell's  Government  vigorously  continued 
the  more  timid  policy  of  his  predecessors  with  regard 
to  the  promotion  of  public  works  and  improved 
means  of  communication. 

But  such  a  policy  needed  abundance  of  ready 
money,  and  the  abrogation  of  the  Act  for  the  sale 
of    mortmain    and    clergy   lands    had    deprived    the 


Government  of  the  vast  sums  which  were  expected 
from  that  source.  The  angry  Pope  had  been  con- 
cihated,  and,  on  conditions  favourable  to  the  clergy, 
had  absolved  the  persons  who  had  bought  Church 
property ;  but  O'Donnell  dared  not  go  to  the  length 
of  again  openly  attacking  so  powerful  an  interest. 
The  mortmain  property,  however,  not  in  Church 
hands  was  again  ordered  to  be  sold,  and  from  the 
resources  thus  obtained  a  vast  supplementary  esti- 
mate was  mainly  covered  for  new  forts,  ships,  public 
buildings,  roads,  and  other  national  works.^ 

Spain,  indeed,  was  awakening  at  last,  and  if  the 
enlightenment  and  consequent  material  improvement 
had  preceded  the  political  enfranchisement  in  the 
natural  way,  all  would  have  been  well  ;  but,  as  we 
have  seen  in  the  course  of  this  history,  the  political 
advance  always  received  its  motive  power  from  a  few 
men  in  a  hurry  to  endow  their  country  with  the 
political  institutions  which  they  had  seen  successfully 
at  work  amongst  peoples  who  had  enjoyed  better 
opportunities  of  education  and  enlightenment  than 
the   Spaniards.     But,  withal,  for  the  next  few  years 

'  The  Government  of  Narvaez  had  been  obliged,  in  1856-7,  to  add 
seven  millions  sterling  to  the  National  Debt  for  the  purpose  of  covering 
deficits,  realising  only  three  millions  by  the  operation.  The  revenue 
for  that  financial  year  reached  ;^I5, 700,000,  but  in  1858  this  had 
increased  to  nearly  ;^i8, 000,000,  in  addition  to  a  supplementary 
estimate,  public  works,  &c. ,  of  over  two  millions,  which  was  to  be 
covered  by  the  sales  of.  the  mortmain  lands.  In  the  year  with  which  we 
are  now  particularly  occupied,  1859,  the  revenue  and  expenditure  were 
about  the  same  as  in  the  previous  year,  with  an  extraordinary  estimate 
of  ;,^2, 600,000  for  public  works,  &c.,  in  addition  to  the  great  supple- 
mentary estimate  of  twenty-one  millions  sterling  referred  to  above  to  be 
covered  in  eight  years. 


very  much  was  done  by  the  nation  at  large  to  over- 
take the  poHtical  advance ;  and  if  poHticians  had 
been  content  to  let  the  process  alone,  without  in- 
sisting on  taking  another  political  step  forward  before 
the  people  were  ready,  the  subsequent  disasters 
might  have  been  avoided.  From  1848  to  1858  about 
five  hundred  miles  of  railways  had  been  opened,  and 
for  the  succeeding  ten  years,  to  1868,  nearly  three 
thousand  miles  more  were  inaugurated,  whilst  a  most 
remarkable  increase  had  taken  place  in  similar 
periods  in  the  bulk  of  the  foreign  trade  ;  ^  and  the 
population  had  increased  from  12,162,872  in  1847,  to 
15,673,536  in  i860,  at  the  rate  of  over  a  quarter  of  a 
million  souls  annually,  although  it  is  to  be  noted  that 
only  I9'97  per  cent,  of  the  citizens  at  the  latter  date 
were  able  to  write. 

The  O'Donnell  Government  were  fortunate  in  thus 
being  able  for  a  time  to  direct  public  attention  to 
national  development  and  also  to  arouse  interest  in 
exterior  politics  in  a  way  which  increased  the 
cohesion  of  the  people.  As  much  patriotic  capital 
as  possible  was  made  out  of  a  quarrel  with  Mexico, 
and  the  refusal  by  Spain  of  another  offer  of  the 
United  States  to  buy  Cuba  ;  whilst  the  religious 
traditions  of  the  country  were  flattered  by  the  part 
taken  by  Spain  during  the  Italian-Austrian  struggle 
in  1859  to  secure  respect  for  the  Holy  See,  in  return 
for  which  the  Pope  finally  gave  his  permission   for 

'  The  imports  and  exports  in  1852  were  respectively  ;!f7,53i,67i  and 
;!^5,667,834,  or  together,  ^13, 199,505,  whilst  in  1862  they  had  increased 
to  .2^^16,793,127  and  ;^ii,io5,322,  making  a  total  trade  of  ;i^27, 898,449, 
nearly  double  what  it  had  been  ten  years  before. 

THE    WAR   IN  MOROCCO.  44 1 

the   sale  of  the   whole    of  the   Church    property    in 

This  was  unquestionably  a  great  triumph  for 
O'Donnell,  and  provided  him  with  the  funds  needed 
for  his  schemes  ;  but  his  crowning  good  fortune  was 
the  successful  war  with  Morocco,  in  which  he  played 
the  part  of  the  conquering  hero.  The  dispute  first 
arose  out  of  the  raids  upon  the  Spanish  settlements 
of  Melilla  and  Ceuta  by  the  Riff  tribes,  and  was 
cleverly  turned  by  O'Donnell  into  an  opportunity 
for  representing  Spain  as  having  been  insulted  by 
her  ancient  enemy,  the  Moor.  Public  fervour  in 
Spain  once  again  overleapt  all  the  bounds  of 
restraint  or  reticence.  Party  divisions  were  for- 
gotten, Spaniards  of  all  ranks,  dominated  by  their 
national  pride,  cheerfully  gave  their  substance  with- 
out a  murmur.  Spain,  they  said,  had  indeed  risen 
from  her  ashes,  and  could  once  more  fight  and 
conquer  a  foreign  foe. 

It  was  a  third-rate  little  campaign  and  an  easy 
victory  over  a  barbarous  foe,  but  it  served  its  pur- 
pose. A  new  conscription  of  50,000  men  was  voted 
by  acclamation,  fresh  taxes,  and  discounts  on  all 
Government  payments  were  welcomed,  and  hardly  a 
town  in  Spain  failed  to  offer  voluntary  contributions 
in  money,  men,  or  kind.  All  Spain,  indeed,  went 
crazy  with,  patriotic  extravagance,  and  it  needed  a 
cold  douche  from  Lord  John  Russell  to  remind 
O'Donnell  that,  though  England  had  no  objection 
to  see  Morocco  punished  for  her  attacks  on  Spain, 
the  English  Government  would  not  allow  a  war  of 
conquest    on    the    coast    opposite     Gibraltar.      The 


popularity  of  O'Donnell  himself  surpassed  even 
that  of  Espartero  in  his  best  days,  and  when  the 
news  came  that  the  Spanish  army  under  his  com- 
mand had  entered  Tetuan  (February  6,  i860),  he  was 
made  a  grandee  and  Duke  of  Tetuan  ;  Prim  was 
created  Marquis  of  Castillejos,  after  his  first  victory  ; 
Ros  de  Olano  received  the  title  of  Marquis  of  Guad 
el  Gelu,  and  promotions,  grants,  and  decorations  were 
scattered  broadcast. 

Again  Great  Britain  was  obliged  to  act  the  part 
of  mar-feast,  and  forbade  the  Spaniards  from  per- 
manently occupying  Tangiers  or  dismembering  the 
Moorish  Empire,  to  the  profound  indignation  and 
resentment  of  the  people  of  the  Peninsula.  Whilst 
this  question  was  still  pending  the  Moors  offered  to 
submit.  But  the  Spanish  terms  were  too  hard,  and 
the  war  dragged  on,  Tangiers  being  subsequently 
approached  (April  25th),  and  the  great  battle  of 
Guad  Ras  fought  with  a  loss  of  3,000  Moors 
killed  and  wounded,  and  a  heavy  mortality  on  the 
part  of  the  Spaniards.  But  still  the  mountain 
passes  had  to  be  won  before  Tangiers  was  entered, 
and  on  the  day  after  Guad  Ras  a  provisional  treaty 
of  peace  was  made  ;  the  limits  of  the  Spanish  settle- 
ments being  somewhat  extended,  a  new  settlement 
granted  on  the  west  coast,  which  to  this  day  has 
never  been  identified,  an  indemnity  of  four  millions 
sterling  promised  to  Spain  and  the  future  personal, 
religious,  and  commercial  interests  of  Spanish  sub- 
jects in  Morocco  safeguarded.  The  five  months' 
campaign,  in  which  sickness  and  neglect  were  more 
deadly    enemies    to    the    Spaniards    than    were    the 

.'■f^'      '-       ■•*:' 




Moors,  raised  O'Donnell  and  Prim  to  the  apogee  of 
their  glory.  Every  man  who  had  fought  in  the  war 
was  made  a  hero,  and  those  who  witnessed  the  entry 
of  O'Donnell  and  the  victorious  army  into  Madrid 
saw  a  whole  people  literally  delirious  with  joy,  and 
drunk  with  national  vanity. 

Whilst  the  nation  was  in  a  state  of  patriotic  exalta- 
tion which  cemented  all  differences,  the  eldest  son  of 
the  late  Don  Carlos,  the  Count  de  Montemolin,  was 
ill  advised  enough  to  make  an  attempt  to  seize  the 
crown.  During  the  domination  of  Espartero,  after 
the  revolution  of  1854,  the  King-consort  had  opened 
negotiations  with  the  Count  de  Montemolin  through 
his  ultramontane  friends,  and  it  was  practically  agreed 
that  the  "  common  enemy  " — the  Liberals — should 
be  frustrated  by  the  recognition  of  Montemolin  as 
King,  on  condition  that  his  eldest  son  should  marry 
the  Princess  Isabel,  and  that  Charles  VI.,  as  he  was 
to  be  called,  should  abdicate  when  his  said  son  should 
reach  the  age  of  twenty-five,  Isabel  II.  and  her  hus- 
band being  still  given  the  honorary  titles  of  Queen 
and  King.  But  this  did  not  suit  Cristina  in  Paris, 
and  her  friends  managed  to  upset  the  reconciliation  ; 
and  when  the  counter  revolution  of  1856  ensured 
the  stability  of  Isabel  the  matter  was  dropped. 

Montemolin  then  began  to  conspire,  and  by  means 
of  a  great  expenditure  of  money  and  a  widespread 
organisation  obtained  important  friends  in  every 
official  centre,  from  Ministers  of  State  downwards. 
This  culminated  in  the  landing  on  the  Valencian 
coast  of  General  Ortega,  the  Governor  of  the 
Balearic    Isles,   and  his  troops,  simultaneously  with 


the  publication  of  a  manifesto  from  Montemolin. 
who  accompanied  him,  accepting  a  representative 
government.  But  the  affair  missed  fire.  A  week's 
delay  of  the  Prince  at  Cette,  before  he  joined  Ortega 
at  Majorca,  spoilt  the  combinations  ;  after  marching 
a  short  distance  from  the  landing-place  towards 
Tortosa,  Ortega's  troops  refused  to  follow  him,  and 
he  was  captured.  When  he  heard  that  all  Spain 
had  not  risen,  and  the  Queen  had  not  abdicated, 
he  exclaimed,  "  They  have  sold  me  !  "  Who  had 
sold  him  was  never  known,  for  he  was  very  shortly 
afterwards  shot,  and  how  far  the  "  palace "  was 
implicated  in  the  affair  is  still  a  mystery.  The 
prince  and  his  brother  Don  Fernando  were  in  hiding 
for  some  days,  and  were  then  captured.  In  fear  for 
their  lives,  they  signed  a  formal  renunciation  of  all 
their  rights  to  the  crown,  against  which  they  pro- 
tested as  soon  as  they  were  safe  out  of  Spain.  But 
it  was  too  late,  for  their  other  brother,  Don  Juan,  the 
father  of  the  present  Don  Carlos,  solemnly  asserted 
his  right  to  the  crown  which  his  elder  brother  had 
renounced,  and  professed  himself,  curiously  enough, 
in  favour  of  advanced  Liberal  ideas.  This  split  the 
Carlist  party  hopelessly,  until  death  and  abdications 
had  left  the  present  Don  Carlos  the  only  Pretender. 

The  fervid  exaltation  produced  by  the  Moorish  war 
and  the  Carlist  fiasco  was  succeeded  by  the  natural 
reaction  when  the  heroics  were  over  and  the  bill  had 
to  be  paid.  The  Queen's  two  latest  children,  both 
daughters,  had  to  be  provided  with  incomes,  the  shifty 
Don  Sebastian,  a  distant  cousin  of  the  Queen,  had 
for  the  second  time  deserted  Carlism  and  was  richly 


rewarded  for  his  doubtful  loyalty.  All  this  and  the 
lavish  scattering  of  largesse  to  the  victorious  army, 
meant  additional  taxation,  and  consequently  pro- 
duced bitterness  and  discontent  ;  whilst  disastrous 
inundations  reduced  large  tracts  of  country  and 
thousands  of  citizens  to  ruin.  O'Donnell's  policy 
continued,  however,  the  same,  namely,  to  divert 
public  attention  to  foreign  affairs  and  give  employ- 
ment abroad  to  possible  rivals  such  as  Narvaez, 
Serrano,  and  Prim.  Little  wars  were  undertaken  in 
Cochin  China,  in  Santo  Domingo,  where  the  Spanish 
half  of  the  Negro  Republic  desired  annexation  to 
Spain,  and  in  Mexico,  where  Prim,  to  the  secret 
annoyance  of  O'Donnell,  took  the  sensible  course 
adopted  by  the  English  and  withdrew  when  the 
Mexican  Government  gave  redress  for  the  grievances 
complained  of;  leaving  Napoleon  alone  to  carry  out 
the  fatal  policy  which  ended  in  Queretaro.^ 

A  much  more  serious  war  was  that  with  the 
Republics  of  Chile  and  Peru  in  1866,  which  began 
badly  for  Spain  by  the  capture  of  the  Corvette 
Covadonga  and  the  suicide  of  the  Spanish  admiral, 
Pareja.  His  successor,  Mendez  Nuiiez,  retorted  by 
bombarding    the    open   port  of  Valparaiso  ;  but  the 

'  Isabel's  methods  and  her  love  of  peace  were  curiously  exhibited  at 
this  juncture.  Prim's  action  was  very  unpopular  in  Spain,  where  the 
war  fever  ran  high,  and  O'Donnell  carried  to  the  Queen  a  decree  for 
her  signature,  censuring  him.  She  heard  of  his  intention,  and  in  order 
not  to  have  to  refuse  to  sign  the  document,  she  caused  her  husband  to 
meet  O'Donnell  at  the  door.  "Oh  !  "  said  the  King,  "  you  have  come 
to  congratulate  us  on  Prim's  splendid  proceeding :  the  Queen  is 
delighted."  Thus  warned,  O'Donnell  kept  the  decree  in  his  pocket 
whilst  the  Queen  praised  Prim  to  the  skies. 

WAJ?    WITH   CHILE   AND  PERU.  447 

bellicose  people  and  Government  of  Spain  complained 
of  his  supposed  want  of  energy  and  boldness.     Thus 
spurred  on,  Mendez  Nunez  performed  one  of  those 
acts  of  rash  heroism  of  which  Spaniards  have  always 
been  fond,  but  of  which  the  practical  results  gained 
bear  no  proportion  to  the  risk.    The  Spanish  squadron 
consisted    of  one    ironclad,   the    Numancia,  and    six 
wooden  steamers.     With    this    force  Mendez   Nunez 
blockaded  and   bombarded  Callao,  the  strongest  port 
on  the  Pacific,  protected  as  it  was  by  excellent  bat- 
teries and  an  armoured  fort  with  two  three-hundred- 
pounder  Armstrong  guns.     The  bombardment  took 
place  on  May  2,   1866 — a  date  calculated  to  arouse 
Spanish  patriotism    to    fever-heat  ;    and,  as    may  be 
supposed,  ended  in  much   useless  slaughter  and  the 
disabling  of  the  Spanish  fleet  without  entirely  silenc- 
ing the  Peruvian  batteries.     The  first  discharge  of  the 
big  Armstrongs  nearly  crippled  the  Villa  de  Madrid 
with  a  loss  of  forty  men.     The    Almansa   and    the 
Berenguela    were    next    disabled,    whilst    the    Blanco 
and   another   ship  had  to  retire  for  want   of  ammu- 
nition and  Mendez  Nunez  was  wounded.     Both  sides 
loudly   claimed    the    victory ;    but    the   fact    remains 
that  the   Peruvian   fire  was   not  silenced,  whilst  the 
Spanish  fleet  was  forced    to    abandon  the    struggle. 
The  Spaniards   have  never  ceased  to  sing  the  glories 
of  Mendez  Nunez's  valour  in   leading  wooden  ships 
into  a  point-blank  combat  with  heavily-armed  shore 
batteries,  but  if  hostilities  are  to  be  judged  by  results 
it    must    be   pronounced    to    have   been    a  piece     of 
useless  bravado. 

We  have,   however,  somewhat    anticipated    events 


and  now  return  to  O'Donnell's  Government.  The 
Queen  looked  upon  the  personal  omnipotence  of 
O'Donnell  and  the  extinction  of  party  government 
with  unconcealed  dislike,  and  early  in  1863  turned 
towards  the  advanced  Liberals  for  advice.  The  only 
counsel  they  could  give  her  was  to  choose  a  mode- 
rate Liberal  ministry,  not  belonging  to  the  Union 
Liberal,  and  so  gradually  to  pave  the  way  for  a  return 
to  party  government,  in  which  the  now  monopolous 
"  centre  "  might  be  disintegrated.  She  accordingly 
dismissed  O'Donnell,  and  summoned  a  mild  Liberal 
Government  under  Armero  and  Mon  ;  but  as  they 
naturally  demanded  an  immediate  dissolution,  which 
she  refused,  they  only  remained  in  office  a  few  weeks, 
and  in  March,  1863,  a  ministry  of  pure  conciliation, 
headed  by  the  Marquis  of  Miraflores,  was  appointed. 
Their  plan  was  not  very  far  different  from  that  of  the 
Union  Liberal  ;  being,  indeed,  to  govern  non-politi- 
cally  by  moderate  men  but  without  the  overpowering 
personality  of  O'Donnell,  which  the  Queen  considered 
a  menace  to  herself  and  the  country.  It  looked  a 
harmless  ministry  enough,  but  it  took  the  first  step 
which  led  to  a  new  revolution. 

A  new  Cortes  was  to  be  elected  at  the  end  of 
1863,  and  in  its  manifesto  the  Government  signified 
its  intention  of  allowing  a  fair  proportion  of  both 
parties  to  be  elected  and  to  return  to  the  system  of 
party  government,  which  the  Union  Liberal  had 
destroyed.  But  at  the  same  time  they  forbade  any 
but  electors  to  attend  political  meetings.  There  was 
nothing  very  new  in  this,  for  it  had  been  done  before, 
but  the  advanced  Liberals  made   it  their  excuse  for 


retiring-  altogether  from  tlie  contest,  and  abandoning 
open  political  action.  This  meant,  sooner  or  later,  a 
Liberal  revolution,  and  so  it  proved.  The  advanced 
Liberals  threw  upon  the  Queen  the  odium  of  their 
retirement.  She  had,  they  said,  refused  to  dissolve 
Parliament  for  a  moderate  Liberal  Government,  in 
order  to  discredit  the  party,  and  had  dissolved  Cortes 
without  difficulty  at  the  bidding  of  a  ministry  whose 
tendency  was  Conservative.  It  was  clear  then,  they 
asserted,  that  whilst  Isabel  reigned  no  Liberal 
ministry  would  be  allowed  to  govern,  whatever  pro- 
fessions of  attachment  she  might  make  to  them  for 
her  own  objects. 

The  retirement  of  the  Liberals  deprived  the  elections 
of  all  interest,  and  the  Government  party  of  cohesion 
and  authority  ;  the  result  being  the  accession  of  a 
more  strongly  Conservative  ministry  under  Arrazola, 
which,  however,  fell  after  a  few  days  on  their  demand 
for  another  dissolution  ;  when  they  were  succeeded 
by  a  semi-Liberal  combination  headed  by  Mon  and 
Canovas,  whose  programme  was  purity  of  election, 
loyalty  to  the  Constitution  (of  1845),  and  greater 
freedom  of  the  press.  But  it  was  clear  to  all  observers 
by  this  time  that  parliamentary  government  had 
broken  down.  The  unblushing  manipulation  of 
elections,  and  the  Queen's  erratic  exercise  of  her 
prerogative  of  dissolution,  with  the  retirement  of  the 
Liberals,  had  turned  the  whole  business  into  a  dis- 
credited farce,  of  which  all  honest  men  were  tired. 

The  impatience  of  the  country  was  still  further 
aroused  by  the  meddling  of  the  King-consort,  who 
had  gone  to   Paris  to  return  the  visit  of  the  Empress 



Eugenie,  and  on  some  inducement  never  understood, 
had  entered  into  an  undertaking  with  Louis  Napoleon 
for  the  recognition  of  Victor  Emmanuel  as  King  of 
Italy,  and  the  return  to  Spain  of  the  detested  Cristina. 
This  neither  Isabel  nor  the  Government  could  stand, 
and  the  latter  retired ;  the  Queen,  at  her  wits' 
end,  then  consulting  O'Donnell,  who  recommended 
the  nomination  of  a  purely  Conservative  ministry,  to 
which  he  promised  his  support  in  order  to  hold 
democracy  in  check.  This,  of  course,  meant  Narvaez, 
who  formed  a  ministry  with  Gonzales  Brabo  at  the 
Home  Office,  but  refused  O'Donnell's  proffered  co- 

The  Liberals,  now  under  the  leadership  of  Prim,  for 
old  Espartero  had  finally  retired,  still  stood  aloof; 
and  the  cloud  of  coming  revolution  loomed  blacker 
than  ever.  The  sale  of  the  mortmain  properties, 
which  had  supplied  O'Donnell  with  abundant  funds 
for  several  years,  had  now  nearly  come  to  an  end, 
and  money  was  scarce  again  ;  the  Queen  surrendei"ed 
three-quarters  of  the  royal  patrimony  to  meet  national 
expenditure,  but  it  was  all  in  vain  ;  for  the  Govern- 
ment grew  more  unpopular  every  day.  Again 
Narvaez's  favourite  remedies,  the  gag  and  the  stick, 
were  used  ruthlessly  ;  Castelar  was  dismissed  from 
his  professorship,  the  Rector  of  Madrid  University 
deprived  of  his  post,  peaceful  citizens  were  trampled 
on  and  killed  by  soldiers,^  elected  town  councils  were 

^  The  terrible  scenes  of  slaughter  and  outrage  u]ion  inoffensive  people 
for  the  simple  purpose  of  infusing  terror,  on  the  night  of  the  Saint 
Daniel,  April  lo,  1865,  in  Madrid,  must  be  laid  at  the  door  of  Gonzales 
Brabo  alone.  Narvaez  was  ill  and  failing,  and  was  not  at  this  juncture 
in  favour  of  the  iron  tyranny  of  his  colleague. 

reYiremeni  of  the  liberals.  451 

arbitrarily  dismissed  and  substituted  by  nominated 
bodies,  and  in  the  meanwhile  underground  conspiracy 
spread  its  fibres  throughout  Spain,  Prim  being  the 
motive  power  of  the  coming  revolt. 

The  Queen  took  fright  and  summoned  O'Donnell 
in  June,  1865,  to  try  and  win  back  the  Liberals  to 
parliamentary  action,  and  he  formed  a  government 
for  the  purpose,  with  Posada  Herrera  and  Canovas 
as  members.  But  Prim,  Sagasta — editor  of  the  Iberia 
— and  the  rest  of  the  Liberals  resisted  all  attempts 
to  entice  them  into  the  net  again.  In  vain  a  Liberal 
policy  was  followed  ;  Italy  was  recognised,  the  reduc- 
tion of  the  franchise  and  electoral  purity  promised, 
the  bleeding  nun.  Sister  Patrocinio,  and  the  Queen's 
confessor.  Father  Claret,  were  once  more  banished  ; 
other  personages  even  more  objectionable  were  sent 
away  from  the  palace,  and  Prim  was  ostentatiously 
courted,  notwithstanding  his  known  disaffection.  But 
it  was  too  late,  for  the  Queen  grew  daily  more  divorced 
from  her  people  as  the  scandals  about  her  increased, 
for  the  Liberals,  who  were  formerly  her  champions  in 
this  respect,  were  silent  now. 

All  through  the  autumn  of  1865  cholera  raged  in 
Madrid,  and  risings,  small  but  significant,  took  place 
in  various  parts  of  the  country,  the  Queen  in  the 
meanwhile  resentfully  remaining  in  retirement  con- 
trary to  her  usual  custom  when  her  people  were  in 
trouble.  A  military  rising  was  planned  by  Prim  for 
January,  1866,  but  the  afifair  missed  fire  through 
ill-direction  ;  and  of  the  large  force  which  promised 
aid  only  two  regiments  of  cavalry  joined  him  at 
Aranjuez.     Followed  by  the  Government    troops  he 


escaped  to  Portugal,  and  the  failure  of  this  wide- 
spread conspiracy,  which  was  revolutionary  like  that 
of  1854,  but  not  anti-dynastic,  sealed  the  fate  of 
Isabel's  throne. 

Prim  continued  to  conspire  from  his  exil.e  in  France, 
but  he  no  longer  shut  his  eyes  to  the  fact  that  the 
success  of  a  mere  military  revolt  was  not  now  possible, 
and  if  a  popular  movement  accompanied  it  the  result, 
to  use  his  own  words,  would  be  "  to  throw  the  throne 
out  of  the  window."  He  faced  this  possibility,  and 
organised  a  great  rising  of  troops,  in  union  with  the 
democrats  and  Liberal  civilians,  to  start  from  Valla- 
dolid  in  May,  and  to  spread  along  the  whole  line 
between  Madrid  and  the  French  frontier,  the  prin- 
cipal active  agents  being  the  non-commissioned 
officers  of  the  various  regiments.  After  several  false 
alarms  and  much  disagreement,  the  artillery  sergeants 
in  the  barrack  of  San  Gil  in  Madrid  revolted  on  the 
22nd  of  June.  They  had  not  intended  to  kill  their 
officers,  but  on  the  resistance  of  the  latter  they  did  so, 
and  followed  by  1,200  men  with  thirty  pieces  of  artil- 
lery, posted  themselves  at  strategic  points  of  the  city. 
The  troops  which  remained  loyal,  however,  under 
O'Donnell  and  Serrano,  overcame  the  mutineers  in 
the  Puerta  del  Sol  and  at  the  barracks,  with  terrible 
slaughter,  after  ten  hours'  fighting.  The  civilians  who 
held  barricades  were  more  easily  defeated  ;  and  the 
simultaneous  risings  in  Valladolid  and  elsewhere 
melted  away  when  the  disaster  of  Madrid  was  known. 
The  slaughter  of  prisoners  horrified  humanity  ;  the 
constitutional  guarantees  were  suspended,  and  a  reign 
of  terror  was  established  at  the  bidding  of  the  palace 












clique  that  disgusted  even  O'Donnell,  grim  old  soldier 
though  he  was.^ 

For  a  time,  thanks  mainly  to  O'Donnell's  energy, 
Isabel's  inevitable  fall  had  been  delayed,  but  the 
besotted  reactionaries  who  were  dominant  in  the 
palace  could  not  forgive  the  marshal  for  his  insistence 
on  the  recognition  of  Italy  and  his  coquetting"  with 
liberalism  ;  and  on  July  lo,  1866,  he  understood  by 
the  Queen's  attitude  towards  him  that  his  position 
was  undermined,  and  for  the  last  time  he  threw  up 
his  post.  As  he  left  the  misguided  woman,  the  last 
prop  that  sustained  her  throne  crumbled.  Swearing 
never  to  cross  the  threshold  of  the  palace  again 
whilst  Isabel  II.  reigned,  he  turned  his  back  on  Spain 
to  tread  its  soil  no  more,  for  before  the  end  of  the 
following  year  the  descendant  of  the  great  Ulsterman, 
O'Donnell  the  Red,  slept  in  his  splendid  tomb  at  the 

Narvaez  and  Gonzales  Brabo  came  back  again,  but 
with  somewhat  chastened  hearts.  They  promised 
oblivion  and  forgiveness,  and  the  Liberals  came  out 
of  their  hiding  ;  but  the  palace  clique,  with  the 
Marquis  of  Orovio,  General  Calonge,  and  other  ex- 
treme reactionaries,  forced  the  hand  even  of  Gonzales 
Brabo,  who  could  only  advise  privately  the  betrayed 
Liberals  to  fly  before  it  was  too  late.  The  result  was 
an  exodus  of  all   those  who  had  ever  taken  part  in 

'  He  is  said  to  have  replied  to  a  courtier  who  urged  that  more 
sergeants  should  be  shot:  "But  does  not  this  lady  {i.e.,  the  Queen) 
understand  that  if  we  shoot  all  the  soldiers  we  catch,  the  blood  will  rise 
up  to  her  own  chamber  and  drown  her?  "  There  were  sixty-six  execu- 
tions, but  it  is  difficult  to  believe  the  assertion  that  the  Queen  herself 
was  not  on  the  side  of  mercy. 


Libera  movements,  and  the  Government  was  irresis- 
tibly swept  along  the  current  of  reaction  until  its 
decrees  became  such  as  would  have  shamed  Fernando 

All  legality  was  trampled  under  foot,  all  guarantees 
forgotten,  all  liberty  crushed.  Taxes  were  extorted 
in  advance,  municipalities  dissolved,  the  electoral  laws 
altered  by  decree,  the  press  and  speech,  public  and 
private,  suppressed.  Dismay,  almost  panic,  reigned 
supreme  :  ruined  shopkeepers  put  up  their  shutters  in 
every  town,  merchants  closed  their  counting-houses, 
money  well-nigh  disappeared  from  circulation — for  it 
will  be  recollected  that  even  in  London  at  the  time 
the  Bank  rate  was  lo  per  cent. — and  the  great  cities 
of  Spain  were  like  communities  in  mourning.  The 
more  moderate  members  of  the  Cortes  attempted  to 
petition  the  Queen  for  redress,  but  the  Captain- 
General  of  Madrid  trampled  upon  the  rights  of 
Parliament  and  shut  the  doors  against  the  members  ; 
the  president,  Rios  Rosas,  and  the  permanent  com- 
mittee being  banished.  General  Serrano,  a  duke  and 
a  grandee  of  Spain,  the  Queen's  earliest  friend,  per- 
sonally dared  to  remonstrate  with  her  ;  and  he,  too, 
was  driven  into  exile  to  join  the  conspirators  who 
were  already  perfecting  their  plans  in  France, 
Belgium,  and  England. 

Under  these  circumstances  the  new  Cortes,  meeting 
early  in  1867,  was  a  farce.  Canovas  del  Castillo  and 
a  few  other  Conservatives  vigorously  opposed  the 
insensate  tyranny  of  the  Government,  but  without 
effect  ;  official  senators  who  dared  to  vote  against 
the  Government  were  dismissed,  and  Gonzales  Brabo, 


with  a  parliamentary  ability  which  has  rarely  been 
equalled,  made  the  worse  appear  the  better  reason, 
and  obtained  for  himself,  unpopular  civilian  though 
he  was,  a  practical  dictatorship. 

In  the  meanwhile  the  exiles  were  not  entirely 
united.  The  central  direction  of  the  revolution  was 
in  Brussels  under  Prim,  but  a  republican  organisation, 
with  Pi  y  Margall  and  Castelar,  met  in  Paris,  whilst 
several  friends  of  Prim  were  in  London.  From  the 
first  the  difficulty  was  what  could  be  devised  to 
replace  the  present  regime.  "  Down  with  the  Bour- 
bons ! "  v/as  the  popular  cry  ;  but  Prim  and  Olozaga 
would  not  have  the  question  prejudged  :  all  must  be 
left  for  the  elected  of  the  people  to  decide  after  the 
success  of  the  revolution  was  attained.  This  was 
Olozaga's  policy,  and  was  no  doubt  considered  wise 
in  order  to  unite  all  the  discontented  under  one 
banner  ;  but  it  was  a  fatal  mistake,  as  events  proved, 
for  it  only  delayed  division  to  a  time  when  division 
was  destructive.  Efforts  were  made  to  enlist  the 
name  of  old  Espartero  in  the  coming  revolution  ; 
but  he  had  done  with  politics,  and  refused  his 
countenance,  and  the  extreme  democratic  party  and 
the  republicans  were  far  from  unanimous  in  aiding 
Prim  without  knowing  what  was  to  follow. 

In  these  circumstances  the  latter  could  only  look 
to  his  own  friends  for  funds,  and  could  barely  collect 
enough  for  the  humblest  preparations.  When,  at 
length,  in  accordance  with  the  plan  agreed  upon,  he 
entered  the  port  of  Valencia  from  Marseilles  in  July 
of  1867,  he  found  that  his  promise  to  abolish  con- 
scription   had    offended  the   officers   upon   whom   he 


depended  ;  and  he  had  to  return  to  France  unsuc- 
cessful. Simultaneous  risings  took  place  in  Cataluiia, 
Aragon,  Valencia,  and  Castile  ;  but  they  all  failed,  for 
there  was  no  united  plan  of  proceeding,  and  no 
definite  understanding  as  to  the  final  object.  Mani- 
festoes and  counter-manifestoes  rained  plentifully. 
The  Government  called  the  revolutionists  perjured 
traitors,  and  these  retorted  with  accusations  of 
tyranny  and  oppression  ;  but  it  was  now  evident 
that  Prim  alone  had  not  command  of  sufficient 
resources  or  prestige  to  succeed,  and  it  was  neces- 
sary to  form  fresh  combinations. 

Don  Carlos,  ever  on  the  look  out  for  a  chance, 
approached  Sagasta  and  Prim,  who  was  in  London, 
and  the  former  had  a  long  interview  with  Cabrera ; 
but  though  the  Carlists  were  pliable,  Prim  put  his 
foot  down  heavily,  and  the  suggested  fusion  fell 
through.  A  more  promising  recruit  was  found  m 
General  Serrano ;  and  with  him  a  more  powerful 
auxiliary  still,  who  was  able  to  provide  what  was 
required  more  than  anything  else — namely,  money. 
The  Duke  of  Montpensier,  whose  marriage  with 
Isabel's  sister  had  caused  so  much  heartburning, 
had  sunk  into  political  insignificance  with  his  father's 
dethronement  and  the  rise  of  Louis  Napoleon  ;  but 
he  had  lived  a  peaceful,  happy,  and  respectable  life 
with  his  family,  managing  thriftily  his  wife's  vast 
property  in  Andalusia.  He  was,  however,  like  most 
of  his  family,  a  man  of  business  ;  and  when  it  be- 
came evident  that  his  sister-in-law's  throne  was  to 
go  begging,  he  apparently  thought  that  his  wife  and 
children's    chance    of   obtaining    it    should    not    be 


neglected.  He  was  excessively  rich  and  could  afford 
to  risk  something  for  such  a  prize  ;  but  he  was 
frugal  and  undertook  but  grudgingly  to  finance  the 
revolution. I 

What  conditions  he  made  with  Serrano  and  Admiral 
Topete  and  what  pledges  they  gave  him  are  still  a 
mystery,  but  it  is  certain  that  Prim  declined  to  bind 
himself  beyond  the  overthrow  of  the  existing  state  of 
things  and  the  election  of  a  Constituent  Cortes.  Out 
of  this  tacit,  if  not  expressed,  difference  between  the 
leaders  of  the  revolution,  the  whole  of  the  subsequent 
trouble  arose.  The  nation,  as  we  have  seen  in  the 
course  of  this  history,  was  not  in  a  condition  to  be 
able  to  choose  calmly  and  judiciously  its  own  in- 
stitutions, and  it  was  the  duty  of  those  who  overturned 
the  old  order  of  things  to  have  another  ready  to 
replace  it,  with  a  strong  hand,  if  necessary,  to  impose 
what  they  deemed  best.  Montpensier,  it  may  be 
granted,  was  a  foreigner  and  unpopular,  but  his  wife 
was  not ;  and  they  were  both  sensible  and  of  good 
repute,  and  would  have  been,  at  all  events,  preferable 
to  the  chaos  which  followed  the  revolution. 

Narvaez  died  in  April,  1868,  and  Gonzales  Brabo, 
Orovio,  and  Marfori  2  (Marquis  of  Loja),  the  Queen's 

'  Prim  wanted  from  ;!{^40,ooo  to  ;if6o,ooo  for  the  revolution,  and 
when  Montpensier  sent  him  ;i^4,coo  to  London  by  Seiior  Mazo  for  the 
purpose,  Prim  refused  to  undertake  a  rising  for  such  a  sum.  The  duke 
subsequently  contributed  ;^4,ooo  more,  so  far  as  is  known,  but  probably 
a  much  larger  sum  was  provided  secretly  by  him  through  other  channels, 
especially  for  the  rising  of  the  fleet. 

^  This  person  had  been  an  actor  and  was  the  son  of  an  Italian  cook. 
He  was  soon  withdrawn  from  the  ministry  to  take  the  place  of  super- 
intendent of  the  royal  household,  a  position  which  brought  him  into 


great  friend,  formed  a  ministry  pledged  to  utter 
reaction  and  undisguised  tyranny.  An  attempt  of 
the  Cortes  to  meet  in  session  was  violently  repressed, 
and  all  the  leaders  of  opinion  not  favourable  to  the 
ministry  were  arrested  and  banished,  amongst  whom 
were  Generals  Serrano,  Dulce,  Cordoba,  Zabala, 
Serrano-Bedoya,  Caballero  de  Rodas,  Hoyas  and 
Letona,  and  Rios  Rosas,  the  President  of  the  Cortes, 
whilst  the  Duke  and  Duchess  of  Montpensier  were 
deported  to  Lisbon. 

In  this  critical  situation  the  Government  was 
unwise  enough  to  allow  the  Queen  and  her  family — 
accompanied  by  Marfori,  chief  of  the  palace — to  go 
to  Lequetio,  on  the  Biscay  coast,  for  sea-bathing,  and 
whilst  she  was  there,  on  the  19th  of  September,  1868, 
Rear-Admiral  Topete,  in  command  of  the  squadron 
in  Cadiz  Bay,  raised  the  flag  of  revolt.  He  had 
long  been  distrusted  by  the  local  governor,  and  only 
shortly  before  his  declaration  many  arrests  had  been 
made  amongst  the  men  in  garrison  in  Cadiz  ;  but  his 
cleverly  worded  manifesto,  denouncing  the  tyranny 
of  the  Government  and  calling  for  a  Constituent 
Cortes  and  a  return  to  an  honest  parliamentary 
regime,  fell  like  a  bombshell  in  the  ranks  of  reaction. 
This  was  the  spark  which  all  Spain  was  waiting  for, 
and  it  caught  fuel  that  blazed  out  irresistibly. 

Prim,  Sagasta,  Paul  y  Angulo  and  others,  had  em- 
barked at  Southampton  on  the  12th  in  the  steamer 

constant  contact  with  the  Queen,  who  was  much  attached  to  him.  But 
for  Isabel's  indignant  refusal  to  dismiss  him  from  her  side  at  the  critical 
moment  of  the  revolution,  when  her  return  to  Madrid  was  contemplated, 
her  crown  might  even  yet  have  been  saved. 


Delta,  and  had  landed  in  disguise  at  Gibraltar  on  the 
17th,  sailing  thence  on  a  steam  yacht  belonging  to 
Mr.  Bland  to  join  Topete  at  Cadiz.  Prim  found  the 
admiral,  whom  he  did  not  know,  strongly  in  favour 
of  the  Duchess  of  Montpensier  as  constitutional 
Queen,  with  Serrano  as  leader  of  the  rising.  With 
regard  to  the  latter.  Prim  easily  agreed,  for  it  was 
obvious  that  he  was  not  powerful  enough  in  the  army 
to  head  a  successful  national  revolt,  but  on  the  point 
of  sovereignty  he  would  not  move  from  his  principle 
of  leaving  everything  to  a  Constituent  Cortes  ;  and 
with  this  Topete,  who  was  no  politician,  had  to 
be  contented.  As  neither  Serrano  nor  the  exiled 
generals  from  the  Canaries  had  yet  arrived,  however, 
and  Topete  dared  no  longer  delay,  Prim  was  appointed 
to  the  interim  command  ;  and  the  citizens  of  Cadiz 
were  delighted,  on  the  morning  of  the  19th  of  Sep- 
tember, to  see  the  ships  of  the  squadrons  dressed 
with  flags,  and  to  hear  the  cheers  of  the  crews,  the 
Hymn  of  Riego,  and  the  thundering  of  the  cannon, 
which  announced  the  fall  of  the  ancient  Spanish 
dynasty.  When  Prim  and  Topete,  followed  by 
Serrano,  landed  in  Cadiz,  and  the  exiled  generals 
from  the  Canaries  joined  them,  there  was  no  doubt  of 
success.  Cadiz  went  wild  with  joy  ;  Seville  followed 
suit :  the  telegraph  carried  the  great  news  through 
Spain,  and,  as  if  by  magic,  the  whole  country  rose. 
To  the  last  moment  Gonzales  Brabo,  who  was  with 
the  Queen  on  the  north  coast,  had  lived  in  a  fool's 
paradise,  scoffing  at  all  warnings  ;  and  the  successful 
revolution  came  upon  him  like  a  thunderclap.  Whilst 
his  colleagues  in  Madrid  were  praying  him  to  come 


back,  and  proclaiming  martial  law,  he  could  only 
desert  the  falling  edifice,  and  recommend  the  Queen 
to  appoint  a  military  dictatorship  under  Manuel 
Concha,  Marquis  of  Habana,  who,  collecting  such 
forces  as  remained  faithful,  sent  General  Pavia, 
Marquis  of  Novaliches,  to  meet  Serrano  and  the 
revolting  army  of  Andalusia,  which  was  advancing 
on  Madrid  ;  whilst  other  loyal  generals  were  told  off 
to  hold  in  subjection  the  north  and  centre  of  Spain. 

Serrano  left  Cordova  on  the  24th  of  September  to 
meet  Pavia,  who  stood  in  his  way  towards  Madrid  with 
9,000  infantry,  1,300  cavalry,  and  32  guns.  The 
armies  met  on  the  plain  of  Alcolea,  with  the  famous 
bridge,  the  scene  of  so  many  struggles,  between  them. 
From  the  first  Pavia  knew  that  success  was  hopeless, 
for  the  revolt  had  awakened  the  sleeping  land  like  a 
bugle  call,  and  Serrano's  force  was  the  larger  ;  but  he 
was  the  soul  of  loyalty,  and  sorrowfully  resolved  to 
fight  to  the  last  in  a  lost  cause.  The  bridge  had 
been  seized  by  Serrano's  general,  Caballero  de  Rodas, 
and  there  the  principal  struggle  took  place.  "  Viva 
la  Reina!"  cried  the  Government  soldiers,  as  they 
rushed  to  storm  it ;  and  "  Viva  la  Hbertad  ! "  was  the 
reply  of  the  defenders.  Soon  both  detachments  were 
firing  from  behind  parapets  of  corpses,  and  on  all 
sides  across  the  plain  the  bitter  conflict  raged, 
abounding  in  instances  of  pitiful  generosity  and  chi- 
valry, as  well  as  in  brutal  fury  ;  whilst  honest  John 
Rutledge,  the  Northumbrian  engineer,  who  had  run 
down  from  Cordova  on  his  engine  by  the  line  that 
overlooked  the  battlefield,  worked  like  a  beneficent 
giant  helping  the  wounded  and  the  dying.    .As  night 


closed  in  both  armies  were  exhausted,  for  1,000  men 
had  fallen,  and  Pavia  himself  had  had  his  nether  jaw- 
shot  away.  It  was  clear  that  Serrano  could  not  be 
beaten  back,  and  during  the  night  the  Queen's  troops 
retired — those  who  did  not  join  the  insurgents — and 
Serrano's  road  to  Madrid  was  free. 

In  the  meanwhile  Gonzales  Brabo  had  fled,  and 
Concha's  Government  in  Madrid  was  a  prey  to  utter 
distraction  ;  the  Queen  alone  keeping  a  stout  heart. 
She  would  go  to  Madrid  and  brave  the  rising  ;  she 
would,  indeed,  at  one  time,  have  gone  to  Cadiz  and 
have  exerted  her  personal  influence  on  the  generals : 
but  as  news  came  day  by  day  of  fresh  ships  or  regi- 
ments revolted,  ominous  whispers  of  abdication  in 
favour  of  little  Alfonso,  with  old  Espartero  for  Regent, 
were  rife.  But  these  were  counsels  of  despair  :  and 
the  Queen  would  not  listen  to  them.  Again  and 
again  she  was  ready  to  start  for  Madrid  with  all  her 
Court  ;  but  Concha,  who  knew  where  the  danger  lay, 
always  stopped  her  with  a  telegram,  insisting  that  if 
she  came  she  must  come  alone,  or  accompanied  only 
by  her  children.  She  knew — all  the  world  knew — 
what  alone  meant,  and  with  tears  of  rage,  that  any 
man  should  dare  to  dictate  to  her — a  Queen — the 
choice  of  her  servants,  she  would  tear  up  the  minis- 
ter's telegrams  and  stamp  them  with  fury  beneath 
her  feet ;  whilst  the  stout,  coarse-looking  man  with 
the  sallow  face  behind  her,  and  the  frail,  gentle,  little 
consort  by  her  side  could  only  bow  to  her  imperious 

On  the  29th  of  September  the  news  of  the  defeat 
of  Alcolea    reached    her ;    and    in   quick    succession, 

.'  J' 







































the  intelligence  of  the  unanimous  rising  of  i^fadrid, 
the  deposition  of  the  Bourbon  dynasty,  and  the  for- 
mation of  a  provisional  government.  All  through 
that  night  the  distracted  Queen  and  Court  discussed 
the  next  step  to  be  taken,  and  a  dozen  times  the 
train,  with  its  engine  towards  France,  was  ready  in 
San  Sebastian  station  and  again  countermanded. 
But  as  the  thunder  peals  of  revolution  drew  nearer 
and  nearer,  and  the  French  Caesar,  a  few  miles  off 
at  Biarritz,  could  offer  nothing  but  sympathy  and 
shelter,  Isabel  II.  accepted  the  inevitable  and  went 
into  exile. 

With  tears  coursing  down  her  fat,  good-natured 
cheeks,  but  still  with  a  proud  port  befitting  a  Queen, 
leaning  on  the  arm  of  her  husband,  and  with  Marfori 
behind  her,  she  entered  the  railway  carriage  which 
bore  her  over  her  frontier  into  France.  A  few  weep- 
ing subjects  blessed  her  and  touched  the  hem  of 
her  garments  as  she  passed,  for  the  dregs  of  the 
great  love  the  people  had  borne  her  still  lingered ;  but 
her  thoughts  must  have  been  gall  and  wormwood  to 
her  fond,  proud  heart  :  for  in  this  very  corner  of  her 
dominions  hundreds  had  cheerfully  laid  down  their 
lives  for  her.  Even  as  her  father  had  done  before 
her,  though  not  so  wickedly,  she  had  frittered  away  by 
her  faults  and  caprices  the  ardent  devotion  of  a 
loyal  people,  and  lost  the  ancient  crown  which  her 
ancestors  had  worn  for  well-nigh  a  thousand  years. 
She  went  into  exile  with  wounded  pride,  grief,  and 
anger,  contending  for  the  mastery :  and  her  last 
official  words  on  her  own  soil  to  the  local  authorities 
who   took  leave   of  her    as  she  crossed   the   frontier, 

FLIGHT   OF  ISABEL   11.  465 

were  the  bitter  words,  "  /  tliougJit  I  had  struck  deeper 
root  ill  this  latid."  ^ 

The  time  has  not  yet  come,  nor  is  the  material  )-et 
available,  to  form  a  final  judgment  on  Isabel  II. ;  but 
this  much  at  least  may  be  said  ;  that  those  who  la}- 
upon  her  alone  the  blame  for  the  disasters  of  hei 
reign  are  unjust.  Owing  her  crown  at  first  to  the 
Liberal  parties,  she  nevertheless  saw  that  whenever 
the}"  were  in  power  there  was  a  growing  tendency  to 
reduce  her  to  a  cipher,  and  to  destroy  her  preroga- 
tiv^e.  She  was  her  father's  daughter,  the  inheritresi 
of  great  traditions,  impulsive  and  imprudent,  sur- 
rounded by  evil  influences,  and  was  seduced  into 
siding  with  the  political  party  which  defended  what 
she  considered  to  be  her  rights.  That  she  did  so 
unwisel}'  is  obvious  from  the  result,  but  that  she  was 
a  tyrant  by  nature,  or  wished  to  be  one,  is  untrue. 
She  was,  indeed,  but  a  weak,  ignorant,  intensely  sym- 
pathetic woman,  without  a  single  honest  friend  near 
her,  or  a  husband  to  whom  she  could  look  for  support 
or  counsel.  All  her  life  made  a  pawn  and  a  tool  to 
serve  other  interests  than  those  of  her  country  or 
herself,  she  was  entangled  in  the  meshes  from  which 
great  wisdom  alone  would  have  kept  her  free,  and  she 
was  as  much  sinned  against  as  sinning. 

'  She  at  first  lodged  at  the  ancient  castle  of  Pau,  whence  she 
launched  a  passionate  protest  against  her  deposition  ;  and  afterwards 
resided  for  a  time  in  the  Pavillion  ue  Rohan,  an  annexe  of  the  Tuileries 
fronting  on  the  Rue  de  Rivoli  in  Paris.  During  the  winter  of  1868-9 
she  bought  the  beautiful  new  house  of  a  ruined  Russian  gambler,  named 
Basilewski,  in  the  Avenue  de  Roi  de  Rome  (now  the  Avenue  Kleber), 
which  she  re-named  the  Palace  of  Castile,  and  has  lived  there  ever  since. 




TOPETE,  Prim,  Serrano,  and  the  generals  returning 
from  exile  in  the  Canaries  had  successively  issued 
magniloquent  and  vehement  proclamations  to  the  people 
varying  considerably  in  their  degree  of  revolutionary 
feeling,  but  agreeing  in  one  thing— namely,  that  the 
existing  state  of  affairs  must  be  destroyed  first,  and 
that  the  nation  itself  must  decide  upon  the  new  insti- 
tutions. Naturally  the  people  at  large  were  not  so 
reticent,  and  began  to  discount  the  future  according 
to  their  party  or  personal  predilections  as  soon  as  the 
success  of  the  revolution  was  assured.  Prim,  the 
acknowledged  head  of  the  progressists,  and  as  such 
supposed  to  be  more  advanced  than  Serrano  and 
Topete,  was  the  real  hero  of  the  hour.  On  the  entry 
of  the  leaders  of  the  revolt  into  Cadiz  he  had  been 
greeted  with  frantic  enthusiasm,  whilst  his  nominal 
head,  Serrano,  had  been  less  warmly  acclaimed  ;  and 
this  feeling  in  favour  of  radical  social  and  political 
change  grew  more  apparent  as  the  revolutionary 
juntas  were  formed  in  the  various  cities  by  a  rough- 



{From  the  painting  by  Rcgnanll.) 


and-ready  mode  of  election  to  take  the  place  of  the 
overturned  local  institutions.     Manifestoes   and  pro- 
clamations were  issued  ad  nauseam  by  these  impro- 
vised local  authorities,  all  of  whom  went  far  beyond 
the  programme  of  the  revolution,  and  in  many  cases 
assumed    sovereign    powers,  abolishing  taxes  whole- 
sale, and  decreeing  fundamental  changes  in  national 
affairs      The  junta  of  Seville,  for  instance,  on  the  day 
it    was    formed,    declared    its    adhesion    to    universal 
suffrage,   absolute   liberty  of  the  press,   of  teaching, 
of  religion,  of  traffic,  and  of  trade,  abolition   of  the 
death  penalty  ;  the  inviolability  of  person,  domicile, 
and    correspondence,    the    adoption    of  the    Radical 
constitution  of  1856,  the  abolition  of  conscription  for 
army  and  navy,  the  abolition  of  Government  mono- 
polies, and  of   octrois  and  excise,  deposition  of  the 
Bourbon    dynasty,  and    much  else  ;  whilst    in    some 
seaports  the  total  abolition  of  customs  dues  was  pro- 
claimed ;  and  in  the  towns  of  the  west,  particularly 
Barcelona,  whither  Prim  proceeded  from  Cadiz  when 
Serrano  set  out  with  the  army  towards   Madrid,  the 
most  violent  socialist  and  republican  sentiment  was 
paramount.     Prim  was    a   Catalan   of  Catalans,  and 
was  idolised  by  his  fellow,  provincials  ;  but  even  he 
became  almost  unpopular  in   Barcelona    because  he 
refused  to  prejudge  the  decision  of  the  Constituent 
Cortes  to  the  extent  of  stripping  from  his   uniform 
the    symbols    of    royalty    with    which    it    was    orna- 

In  Madrid  itself  the  tendency  of  the  popular  voice 
to  anticipate  the  work  of  the  sovereign  Cortes  was 
equally  strong.     At  the  first  symptoms  of  the  revo- 


lution  a  Junta  was  formed  of  advanced  Liberals, 
headed  by  Rivero  and  Madoz,  which,  though  its 
efforts  were  at  first  confined  to  exhorting  the  people 
not  to  precipitate  a  rising  in  the  capital,  and  to  pre- 
venting anarchy,  as  soon  as  the  news  of  the  triumph 
came  proclaimed  the  National  Sovereignty,  the 
downfall  of  the  Bourbon  d}'nasty  for  ever,  and 
declared  that  no  member  of  the  race  should  be 
eligible  to  the  throne. 

The  news  of  Alcolea  reached  Madrid  on  the  morn- 
ing of  the  29th,  and  the  scene  presented  in  the  streets 
during  the  day  was  one  never  to  be  forgotten. 
Soldiers  and  civilians  tore  from  their  clothes  the 
royal  crown,  of  which,  at  one  time,  they  had  been 
so  proud.  Generals  and  high  officials,  who  had  for 
years  paid  court  to  the  fallen  Isabel,  and  had  received 
favours  and  titles  from  her  hand,  trampled  under  foot 
the  symbols  of  her  sovereignty.  From  public  build- 
ings, from  shop  windows,  and  from  ancient  palaces, 
the  hated  crown  v/as  wrenched  and  splintered  :  once 
more  fervid  and  excited  oratory  carried  all  before 
it,  and  from  hundreds  of  balconies  the  pompous 
Castilian  tongue  rolled  forth  prophecies  of  coming 
glory  and  happiness  for  Spain  and  the  Spaniards, 
now  that  the  nightmare  of  the  Bourbon  monarchy 
had  been  banished. 

But  from  the  Babel  of  extravagance  and  vocifera- 
tion which  reigned  supreme  on  the  29th  of  September 
and  the  following  days,  when  there  was  no  force  to 
save  the  capital  from  anarchy  and  loot  but  the  good 
instinct  of  the  frenzied  people  themselves,  there  came 
out  two  clear  utterances  which  became,  so  to  speak. 


the  mottoes  of  the  revolt,  and  soon  were  scrawled 
on  every  blank  wall  and  ev'ery  public  building,  with 
endless  eccentricities  of  caligraphy  and  etymology 
— "  Pena  de  Muerte  al  Ladron  ! "  ("  Death  to  the 
thief ! "),  and  the  illiterate  and  ungrammatical,  but 
unmistakable  sentence,  "  Cayo  para  siempre  la  raza 
espurea  de  los  Borbones ;  en  justo  castigo  de  su 
perversidad "  ("  For  ever  fell  the  bastard  race  of 
Bourbon  in  righteous  punishment  for  its  perversity  ").i 
Of  that,  in  the  mind  of  the  Madrileiios,  there  could 
be  no  mistake.  No  Bourbon  should  ever  again  rule 
in  Spain  ;  and  as  a  beginning,  the  Madrid  Junta, 
without  even  consulting  the  other  great  cities,  declared 
its  own  supremacy,  and  appointed  Serrano  and  Prim 
heads  of  a  provisional  government.  All  this  was 
forcing  the  hands  of  Serrano  and  Topete,  who  had 
certainly  contracted  pledges  towards  the  Duke  and 
Duchess  of  Montpensier — both  Bourbons — but  they 
made  the  best  of  it ;  thinking,  doubtless,  that  when 
popular  effervescence  had  subsided  they  could  mani- 
pulate the  Cortes  in  the  usual  way,  and  gain  their 

Serrano  entered  Madrid  in  triumph  on  the  3rd  of 

'  The  popularity  and  longevity  of  this  sentence  was  very  remarliable. 
Successive  governments  ordered  it  to  be  erased  from  the  walls  ;  and 
during  the  Republic  the  official  motto, ""  Libertad,  Igualdad,  Frater- 
nidad,"  was  painted  on  all  public  buildings  by  the  authorities,  who 
endeavoured  to  supersede  the  uncultured  motto  of  the  revolution.  But 
no  sooner  was  "  Cayo  par?i  siempre "  expunged  than  it  was  mysteriously 
replaced ;  and  whenever  turmoil  occurred  in  the  larger  towns  excited 
patriots  might  be  seen  mounted  on  ladders  or  scaffolds  painting  the 
phrase  on  the  walls,  high  enough  to  be  out  of  reach  of  those  who  might 
wish  surreptitiously  to  erase  it.  It  remained  in  many  places  until  the 
eve  of  the  restoration. 


October,  his  handsome  person'  and  popular  words 
gaining  for  him  a  splendid  welcome  ;  especially  when, 
on  the  great  balcony  of  the  Home  Office  in  the 
Puerta  del  Sol,  before  an  immense  multitude  that 
filled  the  extensive  space,  he  publicly  embraced 
Rivero,  the  Radical  chief  Behind  Serrano  there 
always  went  a  dark-factd  little  man  with  a  wide 
mobile  mouth,  fervent,  fluent  speech,  and  a  subtle 
brain,  who,  with  Olozaga  and  Zorilla,  had  been  the 
principal  intellectual  force  behind  the  revolution. 
This  was  Praxedes  Mateo  Sagasta,  the  ex-deputy  to 
Cortes,  and  editor  of  the  Iberia,  who  had  been  con- 
demned to  death  under  the  regime  of  Gonzales  Brabo. 
Upon  him  fell  now  the  principal  labour  of  organising 
the  Government,  of  which  he  was  appointed  Home 

Like  star  actors  on  a  stage,  each  of  the  revolu- 
tionary leaders  made  his  separate  entrance,  the  suc- 
cessive receptions  in  gradually  declining  importance 
giving  an  excuse  for  prolonging  the  public  rejoicing 
of  a  people  never  too  fond  of  quiet  work.  Prim's 
welcome  on  the  9th  of  October  marked  the  high  tide 
of  enthusiasm.  Here,  as  elsewhere,  he  was  accepted 
as  the  leader  of  the  advanced  and  anti-dynastic  party, 
who  was  determined  to  break  with  the  past,  and  to 
allow  no  tampering  with  the  national  sovereignty. 
As  he  slowly  made  his  way  through  the  thronged 
thoroughfares,  with  garlands,  arches,  wreaths,  and 
decorations    all    around  him,    the  people  kissing  his 

'  In  the  days  of  his  early  favour  with  the  Queen,  when  she  was  a 
girl  and  he  a  j-oung  man,  his  nickname  had  been  General  Bonito  — 
General  Pretty. 


stirrups  and  embracing  even  the  steed  that  bore  him, 
his  hard,  plebeian  face,  fixed  and  grim,  so  diiTerent 
from  that  of  courtly  Serrano,  gave  no  sign  of  exul- 
tation ;  but  all  men  could  read  in  its  firm  lines  that, 
though  others  might  be  bought  or  cajoled  by  favour 
or  flattery,  rough  Juan  Prim  was  incorruptible  and 

The  new  Government,  with  Serrano  at  its  head, 
Prim  at  the  War  Office,  Topete  at  the  Admiralty, 
and  Sagasta  at  the  Home  Office,  had  a  difficult  task 
in  reorganising  the  national  administration  pending 
the  meeting  of  the  Cortes  ;  but  by  flattery  and 
appeals  to  the  pride  of  the  nation  they  struggled 
hard  to  avoid  the  anarchy  and  disorder  almost  in- 
evitable under  such  circumstances.  The  principal 
danger  arc  se  from  the  fatal  mistake  already  indicated 
of  having  no  solution  ready  to  impose  upon  the 
country  after  the  Queen's  Government  had  been 
overturned.  The  Republican  party  was  now  active, 
and  had  drawn  into  its  ranks  a  considerable  number 
of  advanced  progressists  and  democrats.  It  had  the 
great  advantage  over  all  other  parties  in  possessing  a 
clear  programme,  the  monarchical  parties  being 
split  into  many  sections  advocating  different  claims  ; 
those  of  Iberian  unity  under  a  Portuguese  monarch, 
the  Duke  or  Duchess  of  Montpensier,  Don  Enrique, 
the  brother  of  the  King-consort,  old  Espartero,  a 
favourite  with  the  democrats,  various  German  and 
Austrian  princes,  or  a  member  of  the  House  of  Savoy. 
The  attacks, of  the  republicans  on  the  Government 
were  constant  and  damaging,  and  anarchy  and  con- 
fusion   grew    from      day    to    day,    notwithstanding 



474  ^^^   REVOLUTION. 

Sagasta's  warning  to  the  local  authorities  that  public 
excitement  must  cease.  Like  the  National  Militia  of 
old  times,  the  "  Volunteers  of  Liberty,"  truculent 
ragamuffins  who  had  seized  arms  at  the  first  sound 
of  revolution,  were  a  terror  and  a  menace  to  all 
decent  folk,  and  were  generally  on  the  side  of  the 
extreme  party.  Once  more  history  repeated  itself, 
and,  as  in  1820,  clubs  and  orators  sprang  up  as  if  by 
magic  at  every  street  corner,  making  day  and  night 
alike  vociferous,  whilst  all  over  the  country  misery 
and  poverty  stalked  unchecked.  Inflated  talk  was 
again  supreme,  work  was  stopped,  confidence  was 
destroyed,  many  of  the  better  classes  fled  abroad, 
and,  amidst  scenes  of  bloodshed  and  confusion, 
republican  revolts  had  to  be  forcibly  suppressed  in 
Cadiz,  Malaga,  Jerez,  and  elsewhere. 

In  the  face  of  the  growing  danger,  the  monarchical 
parties  patched  up  some  sort  of  reconciliation,  though 
there  were  still  many  extreme  democrats  who  held 
aloof  A  collective  manifesto  was  issued,  adopting  a 
strictly  limited  constitutional  monarchy  as  the  aim  of 
the  party,  but  excluding  all  members  of  the  fallen 
dynasty,  whilst  the  Government  endeavoured  to  gain 
friends  by  decreeing  extremely  liberal  measures,  such 
as  the  abolition  of  the  excise,  the  organisation  of  the 
Volunteers  of  Liberty,  freedom  of  the  press  and 
public  meeting,  popularly  elected  town  councils,  and 
the  election  of  the  Constituent  Cortes  on  the  demo- 
cratic basis  of  the  Constitution  of  1856. 

It  will  be  seen  that  all  this  was  a  departure  from 
the  original  programme,  which  was  to  leave  every- 
thing to  the  Constituent  Cortes,  over  which  Serrano 


and  Topete  had  anticipated  that  they  could  exercise 
sufficient  influence  to  secure  the  election  of  Mont- 
pensier ;  but,  in  the  face  of  the  strong  republican 
feeling,  it  was  considered  wise  to  thrust  Montpensier 
somewhat  in  the  background,  much  to  his  own  annoy- 
ance and  disappointment.  Once,  indeed,  he  made 
the  bold  move  of  clandestinely  leaving  his  exile  in 
Lisbon,  and  joining  the  troops  who  were  operating 
against  the  republicans  at  Cadiz  ;  but  the  coup  failed, 
and  he  was  hastily  ordered  by  Serrano's  Government 
to  return  to  Portugal,  which  he  did  with  a  bad  grace. 

For  once  the  elections  were  not  largely  corrupted 
by  the  Government,  although  mob-intimidation  was 
conspicuous  in  many  places,  but  the  monarchical 
progressist  party  was  in  a  considerable  majority  in 
the  chamber,  the  republicans  and  absolutists  forming 
common  cause  to  combat  the  revolutionary  Govern- 

In  February,  1869,  the  Sovereign  Cortes  met  and 
confirmed  Serrano  as  head  of  the  executive.  The 
first  demand  made  by  the  Government  was  for  a  fresh 
conscription  of  men  to  suppress  the  disorder  in  the 
country  ;  and  thus  on  the  very  threshold  of  its  rule 
the  promise  of  the  revolution  to  suppress  the  blood- 
tax  and  depend  upon  a  volunteer  army  was  found 
impracticable.  The  great  duty  of  the  Constituent 
Cortes  was  to  devise  a  new  fundamental  code  for  the 
government  of  the  State.  Individual  liberty,  inviola- 
bility of  property,  trial  by  jury,  and  the  other  well- 
worn  formulas,  were  readily  adopted,  and  the  question 
of  a  second  chamber  elected  by  indirect  voting  was 
with  some  difficulty  overcome  ;  but  when  the  ques- 


tions  of  religious  toleration  and  the  disestablishment 
of  the  Church  were  tackled,  all  the  blind  bigotry  of 
ancient  Spain  was  aroused.  How,  said  the  democrats, 
can  you  concede  the  widest  individual  freedom,  as 
you  profess  to  do,  unless  you  allow  the  citizen  reli- 
gious toleration  ?  The  more  moderate  Liberals  were 
in  favour  of  limiting  full  toleration  to  foreigners,  with 
the  concession  of  it  only  to  those  Spaniards  who 
renounced  Catholicism  ;  and  after  much  bitter  dis- 
cussion the  democrats  were  forced  to  be  content  with 
this  ;  although  the  republican  orator  Castelar  exerted 
all  his  inspired  eloquence  in  favour  of  complete  reli- 
gious liberty.  In  the  discussion  of  the  form  of 
government  and  the  person  of  the  monarch  also, 
Castelar  rose  to  heights  of  oratory  which  have  rarely, 
if  ever,  been  surpassed  ;  but  again  the  republicans 
were  beaten,  and  in  June,  1869,  the  new  Constitution 
of  a  democratic  limited  monarchy  was  promulgated, 
Francisco  Serrano,  Duke  of  La  Torre,  being  elected 
Regent,  pending  the  choice  of  a  monarch. 

This  was  the  signal  for  letting  loose  the  warring 
ambitions  of  rival  candidates  and  parties.  The 
present  Don  Carlos  (son  of  Don  Juan,  who  had 
renounced  his  claim,  and  grandson  of  the  original 
Don  Carlos)  called  his  adherents  to  arms,  and  Carlist 
bands  sprang  up  in  all  parts  of  Spain  ;  socialist  and 
separatist  risings  took  place  in  Cataluila,  Aragon, 
Andalusia  and  Valencia.  Again  the  blood  of 
Spaniards  was  shed  by  Spaniards  in  almost  every 
o-reat  town  before  comparative  order  could  be  re- 
stored ;  and,  in  the  meanwhile,  intrigues  without 
end,   secret    combinations    and    active    propaganda 


at  home  and  abroad,  pushed  the  interests  of  rival 
candidates  for  the  throne.  Spain  was  flooded  with 
Hthographs  representing  variously  Espartero,  Don 
Carlos,  King  Ferdinand  of  Portugal,  Prince  Leopold 
of  Hohenzollern,  the  Duke  of  Genoa,  and  a  half- 
dozen  others,  in  the  regal  trappings  of  the  King  of 
Castile  and  Leon  ;  whilst  in  Paris  Gonzales  Brabo, 
Orovio,  Marfori,  and  Isabel  ceaselessly  intrigued  for 
a  restoration  of  the  fallen  dynasy.^  Anarchy  reigned 
everywhere.  Sagasta  and  Serrano,  who  was  now 
Regent,  were  for  reverting  to  strong  repressive 
measures,  especially  against  the  Republicans,  but, 
thanks  to  Prim's  prudence  and  honesty,  coupled 
with  the  good  sense  of  Castelar,  a  large  number  of 
"unitarian"  Republicans  began  to  look  askance  at  the 
excesses  of  their  federalist  colleagues  and  strengthened 
the  party  of  order. 

The  union  of  the  various  monarchical  sections, 
in  the  meanwhile,  was  strained  almost  to  breaking- 
point,  the  only  hope  of  keeping  them  together  being 
to  delay  the  choice  of  a  candidate  for  the  throne,  and 
to  avoid  extreme  measures  of  all  sorts.  This  state 
of  things,  however,  could   not  continue   long.      The 

'  It  was  assumed  at  the  time  and  since  that  their  object  was  to  raise 
the  child-prince  Alfonso  to  the  throne,  but  the  writer  has  reason  to 
know  that  this  was  not  the  case.  In  several  conversations  he  had  on 
the  subject  at  the  time  with  Gonzales  Brabo  the  latter  made  this  clear  : 
suggested  that  "perhaps  the  prince  might  die  of  small-pox,  &c.  ; "  and 
Gonzales  Brabo  certainly  left  on  the  mind  of  the  writer  the  distinct 
impression  that  he  and  the  extreme  "  moderate  "  party  then  looked 
first  to  the  Queen  herself  and  then  to  the  Princess  Isabel — who  had 
married  the  Count  of  Girgenti,  the  brother  of  the  King  of  Naples.  Thiy 
anticipated  an  early  restoration,  and  Alfonso  with  a  revolutionary  reg  .-ncy 
would  not  have  suited  them. 



country  was  more  poverty-stricken  tFian  ever,  indig- 
nant, impatient  and  disappointed  that  the  fine 
promises  made  by  the  revolution  had  not  "been 
fulfilled  ;  the  Cortes,  having  passed  the  Constitution, 
and  having  no  radical  legislation  proposed  to  them 
by  the  Government,  had  grown  languid  ;  and  it  was 


(From  a  photograph.) 

evident  that  a  solution  would  have  to  be  found 
promptly  or  all  would  be  lost.  Prim  worked  like 
a  hero  to  heal  discords  and  keep  his  restive  team, 
together,  for  he  was  ready  to  make  any  sacrifice  to 
prevent  reaction  or  a  return  to  old  Bourbon  misrule. 
The  candidate  of  the  majority  of  the  ministers  was 
the  young  Thomas  of  Savoy,  Duke  of  Genoa,  nephew 


of  Victor  Emmanuel,  but  the  moderate  Liberals 
(Unionists)  would  not  hear  of  a  king  from  the 
Liberal  anti-papal  house,  and  were  still  strongly  in 
favour  of  Montpensier.  Attempts  at  reconciliation 
were  made  by  proposing  Ferdinand  of  Portugal,  or 
young  Alfonso  with  an  advanced  Liberal  regency,  but 
without  avail,  and  seeing  that  the  progressists  and 
Prim  were  firmly  supported  by  the  country  against 
Montpensier,  the  Unionists,  with  Topete  and  Silvela, 
retired  in  disgust  from  the  ministry,  although 
Topete  was  afterwards  induced  to  return  rather 
than  jeopardise  the  work  of  his  own  revolution. 
Utter  confusion  reigned  everywhere.  The  Federal 
Republicans  were  practically  supreme  in  Cataluiia  and 
Valencia  ;  Carlists  bands  still  infested  the  provinces, 
reactionary  conspiracy  was  busy,  and  brigandage  was 
rife  once  more,  whilst  the  Cortes,  hopelessly  divided 
and  given  up  to  petty  intrigue,  had  lost  all  influence 
and  initiative.  The  nation  at  large  was  in  dismay, 
and  for  the  last  time  the  old  name  which  had 
resounded  so  often  before  in  days  of  trouble  arose 
to  almost  every  lip.  Talk  of  Baldomero  I.  and 
"  King  Espartero "  was  heard  everywhere,  and  the 
aged  chief  was  again  called  by  thousands  to  drag  his 
country  from  the  slough  of  despond.  But  he  was 
weary  of  strife,  ill,  and  childless,  and  turned  a  deaf 
ear  to  the  addresses  and  petitions,  to  the  deputations 
and  resolutions,  which  poured  upon  him  in  his  humble 
retirement  at  Logrono.  ^ 

'  At  a  later  period,  when  most  of  the  candidatures  had  failed,  even 
the  Montpensierists  were  in  his  favour,  with  the  idea  of  securing  the 
reversion  of  the  crown  after  his  death  for  their  own  candidate. 


Thus,  at  the  end  of  1869,  Spain  found  itself  a 
kingdom  without  a  king,  with  a  nerveless  regency, 
an  effete  Cortes,  a  Constitution  disregarded,  a 
ministry  divided  against  itself,  an  empty  treasury 
and  a  population  irritated  to  the  point  of  fury. 
Zorilla  and  Martos,  the  most  advanced  members 
of  the  Government,  resigned  when  they  found 
the  Duke  of  Genoa  was  to  be  dropped,  and  that 
Prim  was  forced  to  trim  his  sails  to  please  the 
Unionists  ;  and  the  fusion  between  the  various 
monarchical  Liberal  parties  came  down  with  a 
crash  on  the  19th  of  March,  1870.  Prim  had 
long  been  chafing  at  the  sacrifice  of  his  democratic 
principles,  and  on  the  night  mentioned  in  a  turbu- 
lent sitting  of  the  Cortes  he  finally  lost  patience 
at  the  growing  exactions  of  his  "  Unionist " 
colleagues.  "  Defend  yourselves,  Radicals!"  he  cried  ; 
"  let  those  who  love  me  follow  me !  "  and  thence- 
forward the  patriot  Prim,  though  he  still  strove  to 
conciliate,  was  a  man  marked  down  for  destruction 
by  the  parties  who  had  no  desire  entirely  to  break" 
with  the  past  and  by  those  who  dreamed  of  a 
Utopian  future. 

More  conscripts  were  needed,  and  fresh  risings 
took  place  against  the  blood-tax  ;  powers  of  sup- 
pression v/ere  hurriedly  granted  by  Cortes  which 
practically  suspended  the  Constitution  ;  murder, 
pillage,  anarchy,  and  national  decay  had  reached 
their  apogee  in  the  spring  of  1870,  when  the  question 
of  the  monarch  had  to  be  settled.  The  Montpensier 
party,  seeing  that  Prim  was  their  principal  obstacle, 
endeavoured    by    an    intrigue    to    overturn  him,  but 

THE    CHOICE    OF  A    KING.  48 1 

ineffectually.  The  Duke  of  Genoa's  candidature  was 
at  an  end,  for  the  Unionists  as  well  as  Republicans 
were  against  him  ;  Prince  Leopold  of  Hohenzollern 
had  accepted  the  candidature  ;  but  was  vetoed  by 
France,  to  her  own  disaster,  and  Ferdinand  of  Por- 
tugal—a Coburg,  and  a  cousin  of  Queen  Victoria— 
finally  refused  the  offer  of  the  Spanish  crown.  ^  With 
the  failure  of  each  successive  candidature  the  spirits 
of  the  reactionists  rose.  Isabel,  to  the  disgust  of 
Gonzales  Brabo  and  the  absolutists,  abdicated  her 
rights  in  favour  of  little  Alfonso,  in  the  hope  that  the 
Liberals  might  take  him  up  as  against  Montpensier, 
whom  she  never  forgave  for  his  share  in  the  revolu- 
tion. It  was  seen  by  the  monarchical  revolutionists 
that,  unless  they  reassembled  the  Cortes  at  once  and 
regularised  the  position  by  electing  a  sovereign,  either 
the  "  United  States  of  Iberia  "  or  Don  Alfonso  might 
be  sprung  upon  them  at  any  moment  by  an  armed 
revolt.  The  Montpensiers  were  fuming  and  clamour- 
ing for  the  fulfilment  of  the  promises  made  to  them 
before  the  revolution,  but  every  one  in  Spain  saw  that 
the  time  was  past  for  the  solution  they  desired. ^      It 

'  Ferdinand  at  first  gave  but  a  doubtful  negative,  and  it  is  quite 
possible  that  affairs  might  have  been  arranged  with  him  but  for  the 
violent  opposition  of  Napoleon  III.,  who  had  previously  approved  of 
his  candidature,  and  subsequently  pretended  to  do  so  again  (May,  1870), 
but  Ferdinand  by  this  time  had  made  up  his  mind  not  to  be  the  king  of 
a  party  only,  and  he  had,  moreover,  recently  contracted  a  morganatic 
marriage.  Negotiations  still  continued  for  several  weeks  more,  at  Prim's 
instance,  but  without  effect  ;  and  by  the  end  of  July  the  matter  came 
to  an  end  with  considerable  ill-feeling  on  both  sides. 

^  Montpensier  had  become  doubly  impossible  now  in  consequence  of 
his  having  killed  the  Infante  Don  Enrique  in  a  duel  (March,  1870, 
provoked  by  the  latter.      Don  Enrique,  it  will  be  recollected,  was  the 



might  have  been  possible  if  Topete  had  proclaimed 
the  Duchess  in  his  first  manifesto  in  Cadiz  Bay,  but  in 
the  strife  of  parties  Spain  had  got  out  of  hand,  and 
no  Bourbon  would  be  accepted  now,  unless  he  was 
imposed  by  a  counter  revolution.  On  the  other  hand, 
Prim  was  firmly  determined  that  there  should  be  no 
republic,  for  he  knew  that  with  the  strong  provincial 
feeling  which  dominated  Spain,  that  would  mean 

All  other  candidatures  having  failed.  Prim,  almost 
in  despair,  again  turned  to  the  Duke  of  Aosta, 
the  second  son  of  Victor  Emmanuel,  who  had  de- 
clined the  advances  made  to  him  earlier  in  the 
year.  The  King  of  Italy  himself  was  in  favour 
of  his  son's  acceptance  ;  and  after  sounding  the 
cabinets  of  England,  Austria,  Russia,  and  Prussia, 
of  which  the  last  only  objected,  the  candidature  of 
Amadeo  of  Savoy  was  presented  to  the  Cortes  for 
approval  on  the  3rd  of  November,  1870.  Prim  and 
the  progressists,  and  the  monarchical  democrats, 
strained  every  nerve  to  gain  a  large  majority  for 
their  candidate,  whilst  the  Montpensierist  Unionists 
and  reactionary  Alfonsists  protested,  and  Republicans 

English  and  Liberal  candidate  for  Isabel's  hand,  or  that  of  her  sister, 
and  had  been  supplanted  by  French  intrigue.  He  was  turbulent  and 
unwise,  and  aspired  to  play  the  part  of  a  Spanish  Egalite. 

'  Count  Keratry  was  sent  in  October  by  Gambetta's  Government  to 
beg  for  Spanish  aid  against  Prussia.  In  a  remarkable  interview,  in 
which,  with  the  consent  of  the  Spanish  republicans,  he  was  authorised 
to  guarantee  to  Prim  the  presidency  of  a  Spanish  republic,  he  indulged 
in  threats  to  favour  the  Carlists  unless  Prim  would  make  common 
cause  with  the  French  republic.  Prim's  reply  was  :  "  I  choose  to  be 
a  Monk  rather  than  a  Cromwell.  There  shall  be  no  republic  in  Spain 
whilst  I  live.     That  is  my  last  word." 


{Sometime  King  of  Spain.) 


of  all  shades  stormed  and  threatened.  The  result 
was  that  in  a  house  of  311  members,  191  voted  for 
the  Duke  of  Aosta,  who  was  at  once  proclaimed 
Amadeo  I.,  King  of  Spain,  amongst  the  frigid 
indifference  or  open  discontent  of  his  profoundly 
divided    subjects. 

Before  relating  the  events  of  his  short  and  troubled 
reign  we  must  now  glance  briefly  at  the  financial, 
material,  social,  and  intellectual  progress  of  the  nation 
during  the  few  preceding  years.  It  has  always  been 
the  vice  of  Spanish  finance  to  ignore  patent  facts  ;  and 
successive  finance  ministers  who  flitted  across  the 
scene  have  almost  always  grossly  exaggerated  pro- 
bable national  receipts  and  under-estimated  expendi- 
ture; so  that  with  wearying  monotony  a  paper  surplus 
turned  into  a  real  deficit,  and  every  year  the  floating 
debt  was  swollen  until  it  became  unmanageable, 
when  a  portion  of  it  was  added  to  the  consols  at  a 
ruinous  rate.^  A  desperate  attempt,  not  altogether 
unsuccessful,  was  made  in  the  two  years  following 
O'Donnell's  rising  in  1854  to  mend  matters.  Heavy 
discounts  were  deducted  from  all  State  payments 
and  salaries,  a  half-hearted  effort  was  made  to 
establish  a  sinking  fund  to  extinguish  some  of  the 
floating  debt,  and  for  a  time  the  price  of  Spanish 
stocks  went  up  and  the  Government  could  borrow 
money  at  7  per  cent,  instead  of  9.  But  with  the 
counter  revolution  of  1857  all  changed.  The  old 
bad  methods  were  again  resorted  to,  and,  notwith- 
standing the  considerable  growth  of  the  wealth  of  the 

'The  annual  deficits  added  to  the  debt  from  1850  to   1864  amounted 
to  ^18,500,000. 

FINANCE.  485 

country  and  the  exchequer  receipts,  the  expenditure 
grew  still  greater  in  proportion.  The  sale  of  the 
mortmain  lands,  which  had  enabled  O'Donnell  to 
relieve  the  treasury  and  set  on  foot  so  many  fine 
public  works,  was  stopped  ;  jobbery  and  peculation 
again  became  rampant,  and  the  enormous  floating 
debt,  constantly  added  to,  was  now  foisted  upon  the 
Government  Banks  and  Savings  Banks,  in  exchange 
for  the  cash  deposits  confided  to  them,  a  process,  it 
may  be  added,  which  has  been  going  on  to  the 
present  day,  until  gold  and  silver  currency  has 
almost  disappeared.  When  at  length,  in  1865,  the 
Pope  agreed  that  the  Church  property  should  be  sold, 
an  attempt  was  made  to  establish  a  Land  Bank  for 
the  purpose  of  the  gradual  liquidation  and  the 
extinction  of  the  floating  debt  with  some  of  the 
proceeds,  but  jealousy  and  party  rancour  stood  in 
the  way  and  the  affair  fell  through,  most  of  the 
proceeds  of  the  sales  being  jobbed  and  frittered  away. 
By  the  eve  of  the  revolution  of  1868  the  annual 
budget  had  grown  to  ^^27,000,000,  but  still  showed 
a  large  deficit,  and  although  successive  conversions 
of  floating  debt  into  3  per  cent,  consols  at  the  ruinous 
price  of  40-41  had  been  effected  in  1856  and  1864, 
with  the  effect  of  adding  ;^20,000,000  to  the  con- 
solidated debt,  the  Government  of  Serrano  was 
obliged  to  obtain  permission  from  Cortes  to  raise  a 
loan  of  ^10,000,000,  in  1869,  to  cover  the  pressing 
needs  and  meet  the  accumulated  deficits  of  previous 
years.  But  though  national  finance  had  gone  from 
bad  to  worse  the  general  well-being  of  the  country — 
apart   from   temporary   distress   caused   by    political 


disturbance — had  certainly  advanced  rapidly  with 
the  introduction  of  railways  and  steamship  lines, 
and  the  raised  standard  of  modern  comfort.  ^  Madiid 
and  Barcelona  had,  even  before  the  revolution,  began 
to  extend  their  boundaries,  and  became  in  the  next 
few  years  almost  completely  transformed,  both  in 
aspect  and  habits.  Not  only  did  the  rural  populations 
flock  into  the  great  towns,  but  Spaniards,  enriched  in 
the  colonies  and  South  America,  built  splendid  houses 
in  and  around  the  capitals,  and  beautiful  hotels  and 
villas  sprang  up  in  the  many  Biscay  watering-places, 
now  that  it  had  become  the  fashion  of  Spaniards  to 
travel.  The  mining  centres,  like  Rio  Tinto,  Pontevedra, 
Bilbao  and  others,  also  rose  rapidly  in  wealth  with  the 
introduction  of  foreign  capital.  This  process,  and 
the  material  improvement  in  the  condition  of  the 
people,  was  only  temporarily  checked  during  the 
revolutionary  period,  and  in  the  resume  given  in 
the  next  chapter  it  will  be  seen  that  the  national 
development  on  the  whole  still  continued,  in  spite 
of  political   trouble. 

'  It  cannot  be  too  forcibly  insisted  upon  that  one  of  the  chief  reasons 
for  the  incurable  extravagance  of  Spanish  finance  is  the  wasteful  and 
unproductive  expenditure  on  the  public  services.  Each  successive 
revolution  or  change  of  government  means  an  entire  change  of  the 
administrative  staff  from  the  prime  minister  to  the  doorkeeper  through 
all  departments  of  the  State  service  and  the  payment  of  pensions  to  the 
outgoing  staff,  who  thereupon  become  active  intriguers  all  over  the 
country  for  the  return  of  their  friends  to  power  and  themselves  to  full 
pay.  This  vicious  system  dooms  thousands  to  idleness  or  worse, 
crushes  enterprise,  and  paralyses  effort.  To  this  must  be  added  the 
need  for  finding  places  and  wholesale  promotion  for  the  supporters  of 
each  successive  military  revolt.  No  Government  in  Spain  has  ever 
dared  to  tackle  this  curse  of  bureaucracy. 

UTEkATURE.  4^7 

The  alternate  repression  and  license  of  the  press 
during  the  latter  years  of  the  reign  of  Isabel  and  the 
first  two  years  of  the  revolution,  did  not  tend  to  im- 
prove or  exalt  the  condition  of  Spanish  literature. 
The  newspapers  were  shamefully  corrupt  and  licen- 
tious, and  party  feeling  was  so  universal  and  so  bitter, 
that  most  men  of  letters  were  drawn  into  the  vortex 
of  political  journalism.  But  even  politics  could  not 
quite  crush  the  fertility  of  Spanish  imagination,  and 
such  statesmen  as  Canovas  del  Castillo  and  Lopez  de 
Ayala  could  spare  time  from  party  polemics  to  write 
romances  and  historical  sketches  that  will  live  ;  the 
great  orator  Castelar  could  produce  literary,  critical, 
and  descriptive  articles  by  the  score,  and  journalists 
like  Perez  Galdos  and  Correa  were  already  fore- 
shadowing in  their  early  work  the  fame  which,  in  the 
next  decade,  was  to  be  theirs  as  romancers.  During 
the  last  ten  years  of  Isabel's  reign  the  picturesque- 
romantic  schools  of  novels  had  become  vulgarised  by 
prolific  writers  of  the  second  rank,  such  as  Fernandez 
y  Gonzales  and  Perez  Escrich  ;  but  the  finer  spirits 
had  followed  the  fashion  in  France  and  England  in 
reverting  to  the  more  subtle  and  delicate  naturalism 
of  Balzac,  of  Thackeray,  and  of  George  Eliot.  "  Fer- 
nan  Caballero,"  a  lady  of  German  birth  whose  name 
was  Bohl  de  P"abre,  commenced  as  early  as  1847  to 
write  her  photographic  scenes  of  rapidly  vanishing 
life  in  Andalusia,  in  one  of  the  best  known  of  modern 
Spanish    novels,    "  La    Gaviota,"  ^   and    early  in    the 

'  "La  Gaviota"  was  translated  into  English  by  the  Hon.  Augusta 
Bethell  and  very  widely  read,  but  neither  that  nor  Fernan  Caballero's 
other  famous  novel,  "La  Clemencia," can  compare  with  her  Andalusian 
folk-tales  and  "  Cuadros  de  Costumbres  Populares"  (1852). 


period  now  under  review  produced  some  of  her  best 
work.  Later,  Pedro  Antonio  de  Alarcon,  in  his 
charming  "  Sombrero  de  tres  picos,"  and  "  Diario  de 
un  Testigo  de  la  Guerra  de  Africa,"  proved  that  com- 
bined vigour  and  subtlety  was  as  attainable  in  Spanish 
as  in  French.  Above  all,  Juan  Valera,  diplomatist, 
statesman,  courtier,  and  poet,  with  a  style  as  pellucid 
as  that  of  Anatole  France,  and  a  judgment  as  keen 
as  that  of  Sainte  Beuve,  wrote  "  Pepita  Jimenez,"  a 
masterpiece  of  novel  writing,  to  be  followed  by  even 
finer  work  in  "  Comendador  de  Mendoza,"  and  other 
stories,  which  will  remain  classics  as  long  as  refined 
fancy  and  delicate  irony  can  charm.  In  poetry, 
Campoamor  still  continued  to  write,  when  he  could 
spare  time  from  denouncing  democracy,  and  the  un- 
fortunate Adolfo  Becquer,  up  to  1870,  poured  forth 
his  Heine-like  dreamy  fantasies  in  verse  as  well  as 
prose.  But,  speaking  generally,  the  period  we  are 
now  considering  did  not  show  Spanish  poetry  at  its 
best.  Nor  was  the  Spanish  drama  so  brilliant  as 
usual,  for  Echegaray  had  not  yet  produced  his 
first  work  ;  but  Manuel  Tamayo  wrote  at  least  two 
fine  plays,  "La  Locura  del  Amor"  (1856)  and  "  Un 
Drama  Nuevo"  (1867). 

We  have  seen  that  the  crown  which  the  revolution 
offered  to  Amadeo  of  Savoy  was  a  thorny  one,  even 
if  the  national  difficulties  had  been  confined  to  the 
Peninsula.  But  such  was  very  far  from  being  the 
case.  The  need  for  providing  for  successive  sets  of 
successful  revolutionary  politicians,  and  the  haste  of 
the  latter  to  enrich  themselves  in  colonial  offices 
before  a  fresh  change  of  government  cast  them  out 

CUBA.  489 

to  make  way  for  another  greedy  horde,  had  exhausted 
the  patience  of  the  native-born  colonists,  especially 
in  Cuba.  In  constant  communication  with  the  ad- 
jacent United  States  and  Jamaica,  it  was  impossible 
for  them  to  avoid  comparing  the  state  of  their  own 
fertile  land,  a  prey  to  the  rapacity  of  the  vultures  that 
battened  on  it,  with  that  of  their  neighbours  ;  and  the 
party  of  reform  grew  rapidly.  Serrano  and  Dulce  in 
succession  had  been  Captains-General  of  the  island  in 
the  few  years  before  the  flight  of  Isabel,  and  had 
gained  considerable  popularity  there  by  their  efforts 
to  introduce  a  more  enlightened  state  of  things. 

But  the  partial  reforms  granted  were  but  a  very 
small  instalment  of  the  complete  autonomy  or 
independence  respectively  demanded  by  the  two 
sections  of  native  Cubans,  who  became  ever  bolder 
and  made  each  concession  an  excuse  for  further 
claims.  Lersundi  and  Manzano  then  tried  severity 
again,  and  the  "  military  commissions "  desolated 
whole  villages  by  their  heartless  punishments  ;  taxes 
being  enormously  increased,  although  it  was  im- 
possible to  collect  a  quarter  of  those  already  imposed. 
As  usual,  a  large  paper  surplus  for  the  colony  turned 
into  a  huge  deficit  (1868),  and,  as  the  revolution  in 
Spain  approached,  the  Government  officers  in  Cuba 
redoubled  their  extortions  in  order  to  fill  their  pockets 
before  the  threatened  catastrophe  occurred.' 

'  The  taxes  were  levied  in  Spain  nominally  in  crowns,  i.e.,  silver 
crowns,  worth  2^  francs,  whilst  the  only  crown  current  in  Cuba  was  the 
gold  crown  worth  lo  francs.  The  Spanish  officials,  taking  advantage  of 
the  ignorance  of  the  Cubans,  insisted  upon  taxes,  &c.,  being  paid  in  gold 
crowns,  and  so  collected  four  times  the  proper  amount,  of  which  they 
pocketed  three-quarters. 


Simultaneously  with  the  revolution  in  Spain  the 
rising  took  place  in  the  West  Indian  Colonies.  After 
some  unsuccessful  attempts  both  in  Cuba  and  Porto 
Rico,  a  rich  planter,  Carlos  Manuel  de  Cespedes, 
raised  the  cry  of  Cuban  independence  at  Yara  in 
October,  and  appealed  to  Cubans  the  world  over  to 
save  their  native  land  from  tyranny  and  extortion  ;  a 
provisional  government  being  organised  in  the  east 
part  of  the  island.  The  movement  spread  like  wild- 
fire, and  in  a  few  days  Cespedes  had  a  force  of  5,000 
armed  men  under  his  command.  The  Spanish 
authorities,  always  indolent  and  inept,  were  unpre- 
pared and  driven  back  at  all  points  ;  and  in  an  in- 
credible short  space  of  time  the  whole  of  the  east  and 
centre  of  Cuba,  except  the  garrison  towns,  was  in  the 
hands  of  the  insurgents.  General  Lersundi  at  first 
represented  this  formidable  insurrection  as  a  ridicu- 
lous riot,  but  when  the  truth  became  known,  and 
reinforcements  were  sent,  and  Spanish  volunteers 
raised  in  Cuba,  the  revolution  was  too  firmly  estab- 
lished to  be  easily  overcome :  aid  and  sympathy 
flocked  to  the  insurgents  from  the  United  States, 
and  Lersundi  resigned  in  despair. 

With  the  triumph  of  the  revolution  in  Spain  con- 
cessions to  Cuba  were  demanded  peremptorily  by 
Spanish  Republicans  and  democrats  in  the  Cortes. 
Lopez  de  Ayala,  the  colonial  minister,  was  beset  by 
cries  for  the  complete  autonomy,  and  even  the  inde- 
pendence, of  the  island,  for  the  immediate  freeing  of 
all  the  slaves,  and  much  else ;  and  when  he  pointed 
out  the  impossibility  of  granting  all  this,  suddenly 
he  was  taunted  with  being  a  reactionist,  and  false  to 

CUBA.  49 1 

the  principles  of  the  revokition.  The  matter  was, 
indeed,  not  so  easy  as  the  theorists  thought,  especially 
the  question  of  slavery.  The  Creole  planters  were 
glad  of  the  co-operation  of  the  negroes  and  half- 
breeds  in  their  cry  for  independence  from  Spain  ; 
but  the  sudden  emancipation  of  the  slaves  would 
not  only  have  meant  ruin  to  the  planters  themselves,^ 
but  would  have  placed  Cuba  in  peril  of  a  black  domi- 
nation similar  to  that  which  has  reduced  Hayti  to 
savagery,  or  worse.  The  Cuban  revolutionary  mani- 
festo issued  by  Cespedes  promised  gradual  emancipa- 
tion, which,  to  some  extent,  was,  indeed,  granted  by 
Spain  herself  in  the  Moret  Act  of  1870,  freeing  all 
slaves  above  sixty  years  of  age  and  children  born  after 
the  passing  of  the  Act.  To  have  gone  beyond  this 
point  at  the  time  would  have  been  madness,  although 
the  coloured  men  in  arms,  who  formed  at  last  the 
bulk  of  the  revolutionary  forces,  naturally  could  not 
see  it  in  that  light.  This  divergence  of  objects 
between  the  white  Creoles  and  coloured  Cubans  was 
always  the  weak  point  of  the  demands  for  the  inde- 
pendence of  the  island,  and  explains  why  all  lovers 
of  civilisation  who  understand  the  question  are  in 
favour  of  the  control  of  Cuba  by  the  strong  and 
enlightened  United  States  Government,  rather  than 
the  country  should  sink  to  a  second  Santo  Domingo 
under  coloured  rule. 

Dulce,  the  new  Captain-General,  arrived  at  Habana 

'  At  the  time  of  the  revoUition  there  were  between  350,000  to  400,000 
slaves  in  the  island,  and  the  value  of  them  was  very  high,  ranging  for 
men  between  ;^50  and  ;!^300  per  head.  They  were  consequently  treated 
usually  with  care  as  a  valuable  asset,  if  for  no  higher  reason. 


in  January,  1869,  and  the  Spaniards  there  received 
him  but  sourly,  for  in  his  previous  term  of  office  he 
had  been  imprudently  pro-Cuban  in  his  utterances. 
But  Duke's  revolutionary  charming  and  his  invitations 
to  Cubans  to  send  members  to  the  Spanish  Cortes 
came  too  late,  and  the  new  Captain-General  pleased 
neither  party.  Separatist  demonstrations  took  place 
even  in  Habana  itself,  and  simultaneously  with  the 
promulgation  of  the  new  constitution  for  Cuba 
Creoles  and  Spaniards  were  fighting  to  the  death 
in  the  streets  of  the  capital.  Count  Balmaseda,  who 
commanded  the  Spaniards  in  the  east  of  the  island, 
followed  the  lead  of  his  chief  Dulce  and  insisted  in 
his  attempts  at  conciliation  ;  but  he  was  tricked  into 
an  ambush  and  defeated  near  Nuevitas,  and  Puerto 
Principe  was  surrounded  and  blockaded  by  the  in- 

After  that  it  was  war  to  the  knife.  All  the 
newly  granted  liberties  were  again  suspended,  the 
"  councils  of  war "  recommenced  their  fell  work, 
and  the  Spanish  "  volunteers  "  wreaked  their  cruelty 
unchecked  upon  the  "  Mambises  "  ;  whilst  the  rebels 
incited  the  slaves  to  murder  their  Spanish  masters, 
and  Cespedes  and  his  friends  in  New  York  wildly 
exaggerated  their  strength  in  order  to  persuade  Grant 
to  recognise  the  Cubans,  at  least  as  belligerents.  The 
President,  however,  now  firmly  fixed  in  his  new  term 
of  office,  having  no  desire  to  strengthen  the  Demo- 
cratic party  by  adding  Cuba  to  the  agricultural  states, 
resolutely  refused  ;  and  the  help  that  was  sent  plenti- 
fully to  the  insurgents  was  sent  unofficially.  Of  the 
heartless  ferocity  of  the  war,  of  the  murderous  fury  of 

CUBA.  493 

the  volunteers  and  the  inhuman  reprisals  of  the 
'•  Mambises,"  there  is  no  space  here  to  speak. 

Spain  in  the  midst  of  her  own  throes  sent  the  best  and 
strongest  of  her  young  manhood  to  die  by  thousands 
in  the  manigua  or  to  be  killed  in  hopeless  skirmishes 
with  almost  unseen  foes.  Dulce,  wavering  between 
the  extremes  of  unwise  conciliation  and  panic-stricken 
severity,  was  almost  excelled  in  ineptitude  by  the 
home  Government  of  Serrano,  whose  policy  towards 
the  colony  was  simply  distraction  ;  and  at  length  the 
"volunteers"  and  the  Spanish  element  in  Habana 
hounded  Dulce  out  of  his  office,  and  he  was  replaced 
by  Caballero  de  Rodas,  who  arrived  at  Habana  in 
June,  1869.  He,  however,  in  his  turn  fell  under  the 
displeasure  of  the  ferocious  "  volunteers,"  and  Prim 
in  despair  listened  to  the  approaches  of  General 
Sickles,  the  United  States  minister  in  Madrid,  for  an 
arrangement  with  the  insurgents. 

Prim  was  willing  to  grant  independence  to  the 
island  if  a  plebiscite  of  Cubans  proved  in  favour 
of  it,  and  if  the  United  States  would  guarantee  the 
payment  of  a  satisfactory  equivalent  to  Spain  ;  but 
the  first  condition  was  that  the  insurgents  should 
lay  down  their  arms,  and  this  condition  was  fatal. 
Prim,  upon  that  point,  dared  not  give  way,  even  if  he 
had  wished.  Part  of  his  own  revolutionary  plan  had 
been  to  give  to  Cuba  full  autonomy,  and  if  the  un- 
fortunate rising  had  not  taken  place  at  Yara  when  it 
did,  the  island  would  probably  have  gained  indepen- 
dence peacefully  through  autonomy  ;  but  Prim,  stub- 
born, as  befitted  a  Catalan  himself,  was  also  the  ruler 
of  a  proud  and  stiff-necked  nation,  and,  cost  what  it 


might,  he  would  grant  no  concessions  to  rebels  in 
arms  against  the  mother  country.  When,  indeed, 
Prim's  negotiations  with  Sickles  became  known  in 
Spain  there  was  a  furious  outcry  of  wounded  pride 
that  he  had  gone  so  far  as  he  had  done.  All  those — 
and  especially  the  Catalans — who  had  property  in 
the  island  took  fright,  and  thenceforward  Prim  him- 
self was  powerless  to  carry  the  matter  forward,  and 
the  cruel  war  of  extermination  still  went  on.  Again 
and  again  Caballero  de  Rodas  reported  the  insurrec- 
tion to  be  at  an  end,  in  vain  fresh  concessions  were 
made  to  the  Cubans  ;  the  forces  in  the  bush  always 
reassembled,  and  fresh  aid  reached  them  from  the 
Cuban  Junta  in  New  York  ;  and  by  the  time  Amadeo 
mounted  the  throne  there  were  no  less  than  30,000 
armed  men  fighting  for  the  independence  of  Cuba, 
and  the  Spanish  tax-collector  was  powerless  in  the 
east  and  centre  of  the  island  outside  the  great  towns. 
Amadeo  accepted  the  crown  of  Spain  in  the  Pitti 
Palace  at  Florence  from  the  deputation  of  the  Cortes 
headed  by  the  democrat  Zorilla,  and  embarked  for 
Cartagena  in  the  Spanish  ironclad  Ntimancia  in  the 
last  week  of  December,  1870,  bravely  determined  to 
rule  Spain  constitutionally,  like  a  gentleman  and  an 
honest  man,  a  true  son  of  the  R6  Galantuomo.  As 
we  have  seen,  he  was  the  King  of  Prim  and  the 
advanced  Liberals ;  and  all  other  political  parties 
sulkily  looked  upon  his  coming  as  a  defeat  for  them- 
selves. Whether  Prim  believed  in  the  permanence  of 
a  foreign  king  in  Spain  has  often  been  incredulously 
questioned,  for  he  knew  his  countrymen  well,  and 
many   have    asserted    that    he   desired    to    exhaust 

MURDER    OF  PRIM.  495 

possibilities  in  order  at  last  to  seize  supreme  power 
for  himself.  If  this  was  the  case  he  gave  no  sign  of 
such  a  thought  in  his  demeanour,  for  he  struggled 
heroically  to  reconcile  Spaniards  to  their  new  king, 
and  to  render  the  difficult  task  of  the  latter  as 
easy  as  possible. 

Whilst  Amadeo  was  still  at  sea,  and  the  Cortes 
was  about  to  dissojve,  on  the  night  of  the  27th 
of  December,  1870,  Prim  was  chatting  in  the  lobby 
of  the  chamber  prior  to  returning  to  the  War 
Office.  Jokingly  he  asked  one  of  the  Federal  re- 
publican deputies  whether  he  was  going  to  Carta- 
gena to  greet  the  new  king.  A  somewhat  taunting 
reply  was  given,  and  Prim  retorted  in  the  same  vein 
that  he  hoped  there  would  be  no  nonsense,  for  if 
there  was  he  "  would  strike  with  a  heavy  hand." 
"  Every  dog  has  his  day,"  said  the  deputy  as  he 
turned  away,  and  Prim,  followed  by  his  aides-de- 
camp, stepped  into  his  brougham  and  drove  through 
the  dark,  snowy  winter's  night  towards  his  office. 
His  road  lay  through  a  narrow  street  called  the 
Calle  del  Turco,  which  runs  from  the  back  of  the 
Cortes  to  the  Calle  de  Alcala,  into  which  it  debouches 
between  two  blank  walls  obliqueh-  opposite  to  the 
War  Office  in  the  Buena- Vista  Palace  at  the  corner 
of  the  Prado. 

For  days  past  Prim  had  been  denounced,  in- 
sulted and  threatened,  especially  by  the  extreme 
parties  ;  but  he  was  brave  to  a  fault,  and  refused 
to  take  any  precautions,  for  he  was  determined 
that  reconciliation  and  harmony  should  mark  the 
coming  of  the  new  King.    As  his  carriage  was  rapidly 


driven  through  the  narrow  Calle  del  Turco  a  cab 
blocked  the  way  into  the  main  thoroughfare  of 
Alcala  ;  and  it  was  noticed  that  a  few  moments 
before  Prim's  brougham  reached  the  obstacle  a  man 
on  the  side-walk  struck  a  match,  as  if  to  light  a 
cigarette.  It  was  a  signal,  and  out  of  the  shadow 
there  stepped  six  cloaked  men  armed  with  blunder- 
busses, three  on  each  side,  and  simultaneously  poured 
their  fire  through  the  windows  into  the  breast  of  Prim, 
As  soon  as  the  deed  was  done  the  assassins  and  the 
impeding  cab  disappeared,  and  the  mortally  wounded 
general  was  driven  at  a  gallop  to  the  War  Office 
nearly  opposite.  Sending  for  Topete,  who,  although 
he  had  always  opposed  the  election  of  Amadeo,  was 
the  soul  of  honour  and  chivalry.  Prim  begged  him 
to  take  his  place,  to  go  to  Cartagena  to  receive  the 
King  and  accompany  him  to  Madrid  ;  and  on  the 
very  day  (December  30,  1870)  that  Amadeo  landed 
upon  Spanish  soil  the  man  who  alone  had  made 
him  a  king  breathed  his  last,  foully  murdered  by 
Spaniards  :  he  the  only  really  great  Spaniard  that 
the  century  has  produced. 

The  time  has  not  yet  come  for  saying  plainly 
who  killed  Prim  and  why  the  deed  was  done.  The 
man  who  struck  the  light  was  well  known  as  a 
hairbrained  young  political  dreamer  of  advanced 
views,  and  one,  at  least,  of  the  men  who  fired  the 
dastard  shots  afterwards  lived  in  London  for  years 
— and  perhaps  does  so  still — whilst  others  were  said 
to  have  been  shot  long  afterwards  by  the  civil  guard 
in  an  attempt  to  arrest  them.  Endless  investigations 
and   scores   of  arrests    were    made   without   definitq 

MURDER    OF  PRIM.  4^/ 

result,  and    the    blame   was   vaguely  cast    upon    the 
socialistic  republicans  ;  but  it  is  significant  that  the 
active  agents  were  at  the  time  not  only  allowed,  but 
assisted,  to  escape  by  those  in  high  station,  who  were 
certainly  not  republicans.       Rumours  grew  to    bold 
assertion  that,  though  advanced  fanatics    may  have 
been    the    tools,     there     were    others    behind    who 
prompted  them  ;  and  years  afterwards,  when  Alfonso 
XII.  sat  upon  the  throne,  the  writer  saw  in  the  prison 
of   the    Saladero  several  men  not  belonging  to  the 
criminal  classes,  who  had    lingered   without  trial  in 
jail  since  the  crime,  not  because  they  were  suspected 
of  having  had   any  part  in  it,  but  because  they  knew 
dangerously  much  and  had  opened  their  mouths  too 
wide  upon  the  subject.     Two  at  least  of  the  person- 
ages of  high  position  who  were  cognisant  of  the  inten- 
tion to  kill  Prim  still  live — one  of  them   a  lady  ;  but 
it  is  only  fair  to  say  that  no  one  connected  with  the 
fallen  royal   family  had  anything  to  do  with  it,  and 
that   the    crime  was  not  organised  or  countenanced 
by  any  of  the   recognised  political  parties.     It  was, 
indeed,  the  most  foolish  crime  imaginable,  and  really 
served  no   purpose   whatever.     It  was   isolated,  and 
formed  no  part  of  a  general  plan  :  it  could  not  stay 
Amadeo's  coming,  as  it  might  have  done  if  it  had 
been  committed  six  months  before  ;  and  when  this 
was  pointed  out  to  the  men  who  were  concerned  in 
it,  all   they  could  say  was,  "  Well,  at  least  we  have 
got  him  (Prim)  out  of  the  way."     Prim,  in  fact,  was 
sacrificed  not  by  an  organised  political  conspiracy, 
but    by   a    few    muddle-brained    visionaries    of    one 
faction,  pushed  on  by  the  vengeful  spite  of  a  smaller 



number    still    of    the    highly    placed    members    of 

When  Amadeo  entered   his  snow-clad    capital    on 
the   2nd   of  January,    1871,    splendidly    mounted  in 
advance  of  his  escort,   his  gallant  bearing    and    his 
evident    bravery    wrung    from    unwilling    spectators 
universal      cheers      of     sympathy.      Alone     amidst 
strangers,  many  of  them  bitterly  inimical,  a  mark  for 
any  stray  murder-bolt,  he  never  blenched  ;  there  was 
no  cringing  or   bidding   for  welcome,  no  sacrifice  of 
dignity,  but   noble  courtesy,   candid   honesty,  and   a 
determination,  at  any  sacrifice  to  himself,  to  rule  this 
people   righteously  and  well.     His  first  duty  was  to 
pray  at  the   Atocha  for  help  and   guidance  and   to 
gaze  for  the  first  and  last  time  upon  the  dead  face  of 
the  man  who  had  placed  upon  his  head  the  crowns  of 
Castile.      Then   he    rode    to   the    Cortes,    where    the 
Regent  Serrano  surrendered  his  powers,  and  the  new 
sovereign  swore  to  respect  the  Constitution. 

Jealous  eyes  watched  his  every  movement,  scornful 
spirits  ready  to  cast  ridicule  upon  him  waited  critically 
for  some  foreign  note  to  be  struck  that  could  be  turned 
to  his  disadvantage  ;  and  though  Amadeo's  manly 
simplicity  and  his  difficult  position  might  have  dis- 
armed cruelty  itself,  the  eagerly  sought-for  opportunity 
of  derision  was  soon  discovered.  The  King  had 
simply  to  lay  his  hand  upon  the  Gospels  and  pro- 
nounce the  words  "  Yo  juro  "  ("  I  swear  ")  ;  but  alas  ! 
the  hard  guttural  J  in  Spanish  is  a  crucial  test  for 
Italian  tongues,  and  Amadeo  gave  to  the  rough  ''Joia" 
the  sound  of  the  soft  Italian  G.  The  Spanish 
language  has  no  such  sound,  and  soon  there  spread 


(From  the  painting  by  RegnauU.) 


through  the  streets  and  through  the  land  mocking 
attempts  to  reproduce  the  outlancUsh  soft  sound. 
Amadeo  was  a  foreigner,  and  that  was  a  crime  that 
no  Spaniard  could  forgive. 

Of  the  treatment  extended  by  Spaniards  to 
Amadeo  and  his  wife,  Maria  Victoria  della  Cisterna, 
who  joined  him  in  the  spring,  it  is  difficult  for 
an  eye-witness  to  write  with  restraint  and  patience. 
The  much-vaunted  chivalry  of  Spain  must  blush 
and  hide  its  head  at  the  mere  recollection  of  the 
mean  insults,  the  dastardly  outrages,  daily  com- 
mitted upon  these  young  monarchs  whose  only  fault 
was  they  were  honestly  striving  to  do  their  duty. 
Instead  of  squandering  all  his  time  in  his  own 
pleasure  or  caprice,  as  other  Spanish  sovereigns  had 
done,  and  turning  night  into  day,  Amadeo  was  at 
work  long  before  his  dissipated  capital  was  out  of 
bed.  The  slipshod  splendour  and  prodigal  promiscu- 
ousness  of  Isabel's  Court  gave  place  to  order,  economy, 
and  decency.  The  only  lavishness  now  was  in 
judicious  and  organised  charity.  There  was  no  more 
indiscriminate  squandering ;  no  more  haphazard 
familiarity  and  impulsive  bounty  to  unworthy  objects. 
"  What  a  King  ! "  grumbled  the  tradespeople  ;  "  he 
expects  to  pay  no  more  than  other  folks  for  what  he 
buys."  "  What  a  King  !  "  echoed  the  courtiers,  whose 
ideas  of  regal  magnificence  consisted  in  their  being 
allowed  the  opportunity  of  turning  the  palace  into  a 
warren  where  prolific  hordes  were  fed  and  kept  at  the 
public  expense.  "  What  a  King  !  "  cried  the  vulgar 
mob,  "  to  walk  about  unattended,  and  drive  without  an 
escort  like  an  ordinary    person."     "  What  a  King !  " 

AMADEO   I.  501 

sneered  Isabel  in  Paris,  "  to  live  in  only  one  corner  of 
my  palace  for  economy's  sake."  "  What  a  King  !  "  said 
the  officials  ;  "  he  expects  us  to  live  on  our  salaries  and 
to  keep  our  accounts  in  order  as  if  we  were  common 
hucksters."  And  so,  when  Amadeo  and  his  wife  were 
seen  in  the  street,  the  cultured  Spaniards  turned  their 
backs  upon  them  or  stared  rudely  in  their  faces  with- 
out a  sign  of  recognition!  :  talk  about"  Italian  pastry- 
cooks "  and  ridiculous  efforts  to  pronounce  the  Italian 
soft  G,  being  ostentatiously  indulged  in  the  while. 
Maria  Victoria,  though  not  of  ro}-al  blood,  was  as 
virtuous  and  charitable  as  her  husband  was  honest 
and  brave  ;  but  it  was  all  of  no  avail,  for  Amadeo  and 
his  wife  were  foreigners  and  they  were  impossible 
from  the  first.  Peoples,  it  has  been  said,  alwa}'s  have 
the  rulers  they  deserve.  The  Spaniards  did  not 
deserve  Amadeo  and   did   not  keep  him. 

Amadeo's  first  cabinet  under  Serrano  was  a  co- 
alition of  Liberals  ranging  from  the  Unionist  premier 
to  the  extreme  democrat  Zorilla,  the  progressist 
Sagasta  remaining  at  the  Home  Office  ;  and  it  was 
at  once  opposed  by  the  union  of  all  the  anti-dynastic 
parties,  from  Carlists  to  Red  Republicans,  and  from 
atheists  to  Catholic  bigots,  determined  to  spare  no 

'  On  one  occasion  the  writer  saw  the  King  and  Queen  (who  was  then 
in  a  deUcate  state  of  health)  enter  an  open-air  concert  unannounced. 
There  were  scores  of  men  occupying  chairs,  but  not  one  oflered  a  seat 
to  the  Queen,  who  had  to  stand  until  a  chair  was  brought  specially  for 
her.  On  the  occasion  of  the  Carnival,  a  worse  outrage  still  was 
perpetrated.  The  Queen  thought  to  please  the  people  by  wearing 
the  beautiful  old  Spanish  garment,  the  white  lace  mantilla.  Some 
aristocratic  young  ruffians  thereupon  dressed  the  loose  women  of  the 
capital  in  white  lace  mantillas  and  sent  them  into  the  Prado  in  carriages, 
whilst  all  the  ladies  in  society  by  common  consent  wore  black. 


means,  however  foul,  to  overturn  the  King.  In  the 
new  Cortes,  although  the  Government  gained  a 
majority,  the  Carlists  held  the  balance  of  parties,  and 
Serrano's  coalition  cabinet  soon  fell  to  pieces  by  the 
retirement  in  disgust  of  its  radical  members,  at  the 
impossibility  of  carrying  the  reforms  they  considered 
necessary.  Already  the  Liberals  themselves  were 
profoundly  divided  ;  jealousy  and  self-seeking  were 
supreme,  and  Serrano  tried  in  vain  to  form  a  new 
moderate  Liberal  Government. 

When  he  had  failed  Zorilla  succeeded,  and  at  last  the 
extreme  radicals  had  a  chance  of  carrying  into  effect 
the  patriotic  principles  with  which  they  were  animated. 
Amadeo  frankly  seconded  their  efforts;  the  Cortes  were 
not  in  session  to  hamper  them,  and  the  hope  began  to 
reign  amongst  the  people  at  large  that,  perhaps,  after 
all,  the  foreign  King  might  be  tolerated.  Amadeo 
made  a  successful  progress  through  Aragon,  Catalufia, 
and  Valencia,  dispensing  charity  and  pardons,  and 
giving  complete  political  amnesties  on  his  way,  whilst 
previously  unheard-of  economies  were  made  in  the 
public  expenditure,  and  a  successful  loan  of  i^6,O0O,ooo 
proved  that  the  financial  world  looked  with  sympathy 
upon  the  new  order  of  affairs.  But  on  the  very  first 
day  of  the  meeting  of  the  Cortes  (1871)  the  hopeful 
prospect  vanished.  The  two  ministers  Zorilla  and 
Sagasta  quarrelled,  and  the  Liberal  government 
broke  up  ;  another  was  formed  and  was  defeated  in 
the  Cortes,  and  from  this  moment  the  crumbling  of 
Amadeo's  throne  was  inevitable.  The  Carlists  and 
Republicans  were  intent  on  making  all  government 
impossible  ;  and   even   with  a   homogeneous   Liberal 

AMAbEO  t.  503 

party  to  confront,  this  was  not  difficult.  Now  that  the 
Liberals  were  split  by  political  and  personal  differences 
into  at  least  three  factions,  the  position  was  hopeless. 
Desperate  attempts  were  made  to  effect  a  reconcilia- 
tion, but  without  success,  in  a  large  measure  owing  to 
Sagasta's  exigencies  ;  and  Amadeo,  with  considerable 
hesitation,  consented  to  a  dissolution,  after  appointing 
Sagasta  Prime  Minister  with  a  less  advanced  Liberal 
cabinet.  Before  the  new  Cortes  could  be  elected 
dissensions  broke  out  in  this  cabinet  also,  and  it  had 
to  be  reconstituted  with  infinite  difficulty  before  it 
could  meet  the  newly  elected  parliament  (April,  1872). 
The  monstrous  coalition  of  extreme  parties  was 
again  repeated,  and  Sagasta  fell  amidst  great  conflict 
and  confusion  before  the  accusation  that  he  had 
employed  i^8o,ooo  of  the  Colonial  funds  to  influence 
the  elections.  A  more  moderate  ministry  still  was 
then  appointed  under  Serrano  and  Topete.  This 
exasperated  the  more  advanced  democrats,  who  coa- 
lesced with  the  Republicans  and  planned  an  appeal 
to  arms  ;  whereupon  Zorilla,  their  leader,  retired  into 
private  life  in  despair.  The  third  Carlist  war,  to 
which  reference  will  be  made  presently,  was  raging 
in  the  north,  and  the  threatened  rising  of  Federal 
Republicans  and  democrats  convinced  Serrano's 
ministry  that  the  attempt  to  govern  Spain  constitu- 
tionally must  be  abandoned  if  anarchy  and  dis- 
memberment were  to  be  avoided.  The  Government 
proposed  a  suspension  of  the  Constitution,  and  other 
strong  measures  to  Amadeo  but  he  resisted.  Badly 
advised,  or  ill-informed  as  to  the  real  condition  of  the 
country,  he  decided  to  stand  by  his  oath — although 


it  had  been  pronounced  in  bad  Spanish — and  the 
ministry  retired  (June,  1872).  The  King  appealed 
once  more  to  Espartero  to  take  the  helm,  but  in  vain, 
and  he  then  turned  to  Zorilla  and  the  Radicals. 
Zorilla  refused  all  advances,  until  a  great  mass  of  his 
friends  brought  him  to  Madrid  almost  by  force,  and 
against  his  own  will  and  convictions  he  formed  a  new 
Radical  Government  with  Martos  and  Cordoba  as 

The  first  thing  was  to  suspend  the  sessions  of 
Cortes,  in  which  they  could  hope  for  no  majority, 
although  the  estimates  for  the  year  had  not  been 
adopted.  Both  Houses  protested  to  the  King 
and  declared  the  collection  of  taxes  illegal.  The 
Government,  full  of  good  intentions  and  flattering 
promises,  sought  to  gain  the  country  to  its  side,  and 
again  dissolved  the  Cortes  (July,  1872).  A  desperate 
attempt  to  assassinate  the  King  was  made  in  Madrid 
at  this  period,  and  confusion  and  party  rancour  reached 
their  height.  When  the  Radical  ministry  met  the 
new  Cortes  in  September,  obstruction  and  irrelevancy 
made  all  progress  impossible  in  Parliament,  whilst  a 
serious  Federal  Republican  conspiracy  to  seize  the 
arsenal  of  Ferrol,  which  was  only  suppressed  with 
much  bloodshed,  proved  that  the  opposition  factions 
would  stop  at  nothing.  In  Madrid,  Malaga,  and 
elsewhere,  the  Republicans  also  appealed  to  arms, 
notwithstanding  the  exhortations  of  Castelar,  and 
other  parliamentary  leaders,  begging  that  the  Radical 
Government  should  at  least  be  allowed  ?i  chance, 
whilst  already  active  intrigues  were  being  carried  on 
in  favour  of  the  restoration  in  the  person  of  Alfonso, 


the  only  son  of  Isabel,  under  the  regency  of  Mont- 

In  this  state  of  complete  distraction  the  Cortes 
reassembled  on  January  15,  1873,  and  Zorilla's 
Government,  to  please  the  extreme  democrats  and 
Republicans,  proposed,  amongst  other  Radical 
measures,  the  abolition  of  the  conscription.  The 
corps  of  artillery  has  always  been  the  aristocratic 
branch  of  the  Spanish  service,  and  its  officers  were 
strongly  opposed  to  Zorilla's  Government,  Their 
excuse  was  a  command  which  the  Government  had 
conferred  upon  an  officer  (General  Hidalgo)  obnoxious 
to  them  ;  and  notwithstanding  the  efforts  of  General 
Cordoba  to  placate  them,  their  mutinous  spirit 
culminated  in  collective  resignation,  although  the 
Carlists  were  still  in  arms  in  the  north.  The  indignant 
Government  were  for  accepting  the  resignations  and 
reorganising  the  corps  under  the  sergeants,  but  this 
Amadeo  refused  to  allow  until  the  ministry  repeated 
their  decision  supported  by  a  vote  of  confidence  from 
both  Houses  of  Parliament.  The  oppositions  were 
willing  to  help  the  Government  in  this,  for  they  fore- 
saw that  Amadeo,  driven  in  a  corner,  might  abdicate, 
and  it  is  difficult  to  understand  how  Zorilla  himself 
can  have  failed  to  perceive  this.  The  decree  raising 
the  sergeants  to  commissioned  rank  was  presented 
to  the  King  on  the  8th  of  February,  and,  true  to  his 
Constitutional  oath,  he  signed  it. 

If  he  had  chosen  to  pronounce  it,  a  single  word 
from  him  would  have  ranged  on  his  side  all  the 
elements  of  force,  and  he  might  have  ruled  Spain 
by   the    army    as    others    had    done.      But  he    was 


sick  of  the  hopeless  struggle.  His  wife,  assailed 
by  fears  for  his  safety,  and  unhappy  at  the 
insults  constantly  offered  to  her  by  the  nobility, 
seconded  his  resolve  to  be  made  a  sacrifice  rather 
than  to  rule  by  force  ;  and  Amadeo,  in  a  dignified 
address  to  the  Spanish  people,  which  should  have 
made  the  most  hardened  blush  with  shame,  sur- 
rendered into  their  hands  the  crown  which,  whilst  he 
had  worn  it  at  least,  had  suffered  no  dishonour  The 
next  morning  (February  12,  1873),  Amadeo  of  Savoy 
— now  Duke  of  Aosta  again — gladly  turned  his  back 
upon  his  ungrateful  people  :  the  only  man  who  had 
come  out  of  this  sordid  scramble  an  upright  gentleman 
without  stain  and  without  reproach. 

Before  relating  the  events  which  followed  the 
abdication  of  Amadeo  it  will  be  necessary  for  us  to 
eo  back  a  little,  in  order  to  describe  the  renewed  civil 
war  which  the  Carlists  had  commenced.  Soon  after 
the  abortive  attempt  of  the  Count  de  Montemolin 
both  he  and  his  brother  Fernando  had  died,  and  the 
Radical  Don  Juan,  the  only  remaining  son  of  the 
original  Don  Carlos,  made  great  efforts  to  reconcile 
himself  with  Isabel  and  return  to  his  position  as  a 
Spanish  Infante;  and  although  he  did  not  succeed, 
the  Carlist  party  completely  disavowed  him  and 
adopted  his  son,  the  young  Don  Carlos  as  their  chief 
Just  before  the  fall  of  Isabel  the  Pretender  and  his 
friends  held  an  important  meeting  in  London.  Don 
Juan  was  persuaded  to  transfer  such  rights  as  he 
possessed  to  his  son,  who  held  his  mimic  court  in 
Paris,  funds  were  collected,  arms  and  uniforms  bought, 
and  in  the  summer  of  1869  several  small  risings  took 


place  simultaneously,  most  of  which  were  rapidly 
dispersed.  The  main  conspiracy  was  to  seize 
Pamplona,  the  capital  of  Navarre,  in  July,  but  this 
too  was  frustrated — Cabrera  had  obstinately  refused 
to  leave  his  English  retirement,  but  now  he  was  at 
last  induced  to  take  the  political  direction  of  affairs, 
in  the  hope  that  he  might  guide  Carlism  into  the 
more  reasonable  and  modern  spirit  which  his  English 
experience  had  taught  him  was  necessary.  But  the 
Spanish  Carlists  were  as  benighted  as  ever.  They 
wanted  to  force  the  "  sacristy,"  as  Cabrera  called  it, 
upon  Spain  at  the  point  of  the  bayonet ;  and  the  old 
leader  soon  threw  up  the  thankless  cause  in  disgust. 
Elio  then  assumed  the  chief  direction  of  the  party 
under  Don  Carlos  himself,  but  after  several  partial 
risings,  always  successfully  crushed  by  Prim's  Govern- 
ment, disunion  became  general  amongst  the  Carlists, 
and  by  the  time  Amadeo  arrived  in  Madrid  Don 
Carlos  acknowledged  his  failure  and  suspended 

But  the  Carlist  juntas  all  over  Spain,  and  especially 
in  Cataluna,  were  straining  in  the  leash,  and  Gonzales 
Brabo,  who  had  now  deserted  Isabel,^  was  urging  the 
Pretender  on  to  war.  Candido  Nocedal,  the  leader  of 
the  Carlists  in  the  Cortes,  remonstrated  in  vain  against 
an  appeal  to  arms.  "  Only  let  us,  who  hold  the 
balance,"  he  said,  "  overthrow  Amadeo,  and  the 
extravagancies  of  the  Red  Republicans  will  soon  lead 

'  As  has  been  already  mentioned,  the  writer  has  reason  to  know  that 
Gonzales  Brabo  and  the  "moderates"  were  not  in  favour  of  Alfonso, 
who  they  knew  could  only  reign  under  constitutional  auspices.  Most 
of  them  deserted  her  when  she  abdicated  in  favour  of  her  son. 


all  Spaniards  to  welcome  Don  Carlos  as  a  saviour  of 
society."  This  difference  of  opinion  caused  long  and 
bitter  contention  in  the  Carlist  ranks,  and  the  pretender 
himself  wavered  from  day  to  day,  until  at  length  his 
hand  was  forced  by  the  war  party.  On  April  14, 
1872,  he  wrote  from  Geneva  to  his  commander-in- 
chief,  Rada  :  "  At  length  the  solemn  moment  has 
arrived.  Good  Spaniards  are  calling  for  their  legiti- 
mate King,  and  the  King  cannot  turn  a  deaf  ear  to 
the  summons  of  his  country.  I  order  a  general  rising 
all  over  Spain  for  the  21st  instant,  to  the  cry  of  '  Down 
with  the  foreigner  !  Long  live  Spain  ! ' — Carlos." 
Nocedal  protested,  and  resigned  ;  but  the  militant 
Carlists  were  confident  and  eager,  and  soon  all  the 
north  and  east  of  Spain  was  astir  with  partially  armed 
and  undrilled  peasants,  ready  to  fight  once  more  for 
King  and  "  fueros."  '  Serrano  at  once  took  the  field 
at  Tudela  and  Tafalla,  whilst  General  Moriones 
operated  with  an  insufficient  force  in  the  mountains 
of  Navarre.  Don  Carlos  himself  crossed  the  fron- 
tier on  foot  almost  alone  on  May  2,  1872,  and  set 
up  his  headquarters  at  Vera.  "  God,  Fatherland, 
and  King!"  was  his  battle-cry,  and  the  Navarrese 
acclaimed  the  Pretender  as  their  heaven-sent  sovereign 
with  superstitious  reverence.  Pursued  constantly  by 
Serrano  and  Moriones,  dispersing  at  one  point  only 
to  reassemble  at  once  in  another,  the  Carlists  carried 
on  the  exhausting  guerrilla  warfare  which  the  confor- 
mation of  the  country  and  the  universal  sympathy  of 
the  people  made  easy  for  them.  Moriones  managed 
to  surprise  a  large  body  once  at  Oroquieta,  and  killed 
or  captured    nearly    1,000  of  them  ;    but,  as  in    the 

*'  \  <-:- 

•^  f; 


(From  an  etching.) 


previous  Carlist  war,  the  important  fortresses,  Bilbao 
Pamplona  and  San  Sebastian,  stood  firm  for  the 
Liberal  cause,  and  the  struggle  was  mainly  rural  and 
mountain  warfare. 

Don  Carlos,  ostentatious  and  pleasure-loving,  was 
a  poor  figure-head  morally,  although  his  appearance 
was  splendid  in  the  extreme.  Money  soon  ran  short, 
the  organisation  and  combination  were  wretched,  and 
the  Carlists  of  Biscay,  without  direction,  discipline, 
food,  or  resources,  despaired  after  a  thirty  days'  cam- 
paign, and  accepted  from  Serrano  what  was  called 
the  treaty  of  Amorevieta,  by  which  a  complete 
amnesty  was  given  to  Carlists  in  arms  ;  officers  and 
men  who  had  deserted  the  regular  army  for  the 
Carlists  might  return  to  their  ranks,  and  promises 
were  given  that  the  autonomy  of  the  provinces  should 
not  be  disturbed.  This  greatly  weakened  the  Carlist 
cause,  but  the  Navarrese  still  stood  out ;  and  especially 
in  Cataluha,  where  Don  Carlos'  brother,  Don  Alfonso, 
was  in  command,  the  insurrection  gained  strength  and 
organisation,  thanks  to  the  constant  hankering  of  rich 
Cataluna  for  separation  from  poor  Castile. 

This  was  the  condition  of  affairs  when  Amadeo 
abdicated,  and  the  period  of  confusion  which  succeeded 
enormously  aided  the  Carlist  cause.  The  violent 
changes  in  Madrid,  the  disaffection  of  the  army,  and 
the  dread  of  red  republicanism,  made  thousands  of 
Spaniards  Carlists  who  had  hitherto  held  aloof;  and 
in  the  summer  of  1873,  when  distracted  civilian 
theorists  were  squabbling  for  power,  Don  Carlos  had 
on  his  side  50,000  men,  fairly  organised  and  armed. 
This    was    the  Pretender's    chance,    and    on    several 

THE   REPUBLIC.  51 1 

occasions  he  would  have  been  welcomed  with  open 
arras  by  a  majority  of  Spaniards  if  he  had  possessed 
the  wit  and  daring  to  take  fortune  at  its  flood,  and 
had  assumed  the  position  of  defender  of  authority 
and  property  against  the  looming  anarchy